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A fire broke out this morning in the Panaji bus stand’s building, gutting several establishments in the premises, including the state transport department’s office, an official said. No injury or casualty was reported in the mishap. The blaze erupted around 5.45 am in the supermarket located on the ground floor of the Panaji bus stand.
Around 10 to 12 fire tenders rushed to the site and managed to control the blaze after hectic efforts for over three hours, the official said. A large number of records of the state transport department were burnt in the inferno, he said.
The area was cordoned off and the losses were estimated to be worth over Rs 1 crore, said Darryk Natto, the managing director of Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL), which owns and manages the Panaji bus stand. He said they had recently done an assessment of power load at the Panaji bus stand as there was a plan to change the entire electric wiring at the premises.
An official of the transport department said they will have to shut down their office for the next few days as important records got burnt in the flames. “Two of our major sections dealing with enforcement and registration of vehicles were damaged in the fire. We will have to shut down the office for another three days,” state transport director Nikhil Desai told reporters outside the site of the mishap.
The exact cause of fire was yet to be ascertained, Desai said, adding that prima facie it is suspected that a short circuit occurred in the supermarket from where the fire spread to the transport department’s office, which is located on the first floor. “At least 10 to 12 fire tenders were pressed into service to control the fire. The records inside the office were burnt,” he said. “We are fortunate that the department had recently shifted a few of its services online,” Desai said.