A day after the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC)’s fire department slapped a notice on a textile market in Surat over inadequate fire safety measures on its premises, a major fire broke out in the 14-storey market early on Tuesday, leaving around 300 shops gutted, leading to a loss of “crores of rupees”.
No casualty was reported in the second such incident in a span of 11 days at the Raghuveer Shivam Textile market on Puna Kumbhariya road when fire broke out on the top floor of the building.
Police said the fire broke out on the 14th floor of the building around 4 am on Tuesday. A security guard spotted the flames and alerted the fire department control room at 4.10 am. Fire personnel with hydraulic machines from different zones rushed to the spot. With the wind speed, the fire raged to all the floors in no time. The fire was finally brought under control by evening.
Officials said nobody was injured in the incident but all the shops with textile stocks were gutted, leading to a loss of crores of rupees. Police blocked the road on a stretch of one-and-half-kilometres to enable the fire tenders reach the spot easily.
Sources in the fire department said that over 100 personnel and 75 fire tenders were deployed for work.
It was on Monday that the fire department served a notice to the textile market over inadequate fire safety systems on its premises, according to Surat Municipal Commissioner Banc-hhanidhi Pani who visited the spot to take stock of the situation. He ordered sealing of the market and cancellation of its BUC (building use certificate).
Talking to The Indian Express, Pani said, “Over 300 shops out of around 1,000 shops in the market were gutted, leading to a loss of crores of rupees. The market’s fire safety system was inadequate. We have cancelled the building use permission of the market and sealed the premises. The market will reopen once all the fire safety measures are in place. The market authorities will now have to avail certificate from the Directorate of Fire services Gujarat.”
“We have called a meeting of the textile market association along with Architect association on Wednesday to discuss fire safety rules. They are not giving importance to fire safety measures. If they invest a few lakhs for fire safety systems, they will save crores of rupees in terms of their business,” the commissioner added.
Chief fire officer of SMC Basant Pareek said, “All 14 floors of one side of the textile market caught fire. We worked for whole day till 5 pm and brought the fire under control. The exact cause of the fire is still not known but we suspect that it might be a short circuit. The back portion of the market was safe. No casualty was been reported as the fire started early in the morning when all the shops were closed.”