The Administration and the fire brigade department have failed to take any action against the shopkeepers who were illegally running their shops at the two furniture markets here. The fire department issued notices to the shopkeepers for not having adequate fire safety arrangements after the fire broke out in April this year at a furniture market.
The fire department carried out inspection of the furniture markets and issued notices to the shopkeepers and directed them to install the fire safety equipment but nothing happened.
The Sub-Fire Officer (SFO), Davinder Singh, told Chandigarh Newsline that they issued notices to the shopkeepers at Lakhnaur in May and asked them to comply with the orders to install proper fire safety arrangements. He added that the notices were issued after an inspection was carried out at the markets.
“We also informed the market’s president to ask the shopkeepers to follow the safety norms, but it was ignored and resulted in the major fire on Sunday. The shopkeepers store chemicals which are used to polish the furniture. The chemicals are highly inflammable. They also store spirit, which is an inflammable chemical,” Davinder Singh said.
Asking what action was taken against the shopkeepers after issuing the notices, Davinder Singh said that the area does not fall within the jurisdiction of the MC, so they could not take any action.
He added that the shopkeepers keep fire extinguisher as a formality but these are not sufficient to control any major fire.
The furniture markets are located on Mohali-Landran road. A petrol pump station is also located near the market. The BSF complex is also located at a distance of around 100 metres.
A shopkeeper, who did not wish to be named, told Chandigarh Newsline that there were not electric meters in the shops and all the shopkeepers use generator sets for the power. “The generator sets run all the time. We could not get power connections as the market is not reguralised,” the shopkeeper said.