April 4, 2021 12:48:07 am
Around 700 shanties were gutted, leaving around 1,000 people without a roof over their head, in a fire that broke out in a slum cluster in Gurgaon’s Nathupur village late Friday night. No injuries or casualties were reported, said officials.
Officials from the fire department said they were alerted to the incident at 2.08 am, and two fire tenders from the Sector 29 fire station were rushed to the spot. When the blaze was found to be too strong, additional tenders were sent from the fire stations at Sector 37, Bhim Nagar, and Udyog Vihar. A total of 15 fire tenders were used in the operation, said officials.
“Our personnel managed to control the blaze by 6 am, and the fire was extinguished around 8 am. Nobody has been injured and there have been no casualties, as per our information, but around 700 shanties were gutted in the blaze according to the assessment of our staff,” said I S Kashyap, assistant divisional fire safety officer.
He said another 500-600 shanties in the area were saved because of the efforts of the fire department. Officials say the fire was likely caused by a short circuit, and intensified as small LPG cylinders belonging to residents burst.
“These are all temporary shanties and clusters — they have electricity but there aren’t any meters or other fittings so the wiring is all loose. At 2 am, then, the most likely reason for such a fire is a short circuit in the wiring,” said Kashyap.
Most of the people who were residing in the shanties are migrants working as daily wage labourers at construction sites.
While the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) goes about the task of levelling the ground where their homes once stood, those rendered homeless are being housed in temporary shelters in Nathupur village, created using canvas by relief workers and NGOs.
Rohtash, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and walks to Sikanderpur’s Labour Chowk looking for work each morning, said, “My wife and I were sleeping in our home when some neighbours woke us up and alerted us about the fire. We are grateful that we survived the incident and managed to get out in time, but the economic loss we have suffered because of it will be very difficult for us to cope with.”
“I managed to grab our cash and documents as we fled, but everything else is gone. We will have to start from scratch again, at a time where anyway there is no work for us. I don’t know how we will manage,” he said.
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