Nearly 150 jhuggis were gutted after a fire broke out at a slum cluster in Dwarka’s Sainik Nagar Saturday morning. Though no casualty has been reported, hundreds of residents have been left without shelter. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced compensation of Rs 25,000 to each family.
The slum cluster, spread across five acres, houses over 1,000 people. Most of them are from Bihar and work in nearby areas as domestic help, scrap dealers or ragpickers.
“The fire was reported at 10.08 am. Twenty fire tenders rushed to the spot and took nearly two hours to douse the flames. Plastic and wooden material used to build the shanties, and scrap from a nearby godown fuelled the fire,” said a fire department official.
Though the exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined, the fire department suspects a short circuit in one of the godowns in the slum might have caused it.
After the incident, District Magistrate Ankur Garg and Matiala MLA Gulab Singh visited the spot. “Of the 550 slums, 150 have been damaged. Water tankers have been called in. Tents are being put up for the displaced and food will be served,” said Garg.
Sita (43), who works as a domestic help and has been living in the slum for the past five years, said, “We were siting inside our house when we heard a loud crash and rushed outside. We saw a jhuggi in flames and black smoke emanating from it. The fire quickly spread to the neighbouring huts.”