AT LEAST 80 garment shops were gutted in a fire that broke out in a busy Chandni Chowk locality late Monday evening. Alleging delayed response from the administration, shopkeepers claimed they have suffered losses of over Rs 100 crore. The fire broke out around 9.30 pm on the ground floor of a shop in Katra Dhulia. Sources said a short circuit might be the reason behind the fire, which soon spread to other floors of the building, and eventually to nearby buildings as well.
At least 35 fire tenders were pressed into service and it took nearly six hours to douse the blaze. The cooling operations were on till Tuesday. A fire officer said the lanes were congested but fire tenders managed to reach the spot swiftly. “With the help of other firemen, a pipe was installed in the lane, and the operation began. By 2.30 am, we managed to control the fire,” said the officer.
Ajay Jain, a member of the market association, who also runs a shop, said: “We have suffered losses of over Rs 100 crore. Ramzan starts in a few days so the shops were stacked with clothes. Over 1,000 families have been affected due to the fire.”
After conducting an inspection, the North MCD, in an official statement, said: “The Dangerous Building Cell of the city zone is present at the site and is keeping vigil. After settling of fumes, a thorough inspection will be carried out and other dangerous portions will be demolished.”