BHOPAL: A major fire broke out in New Market on late Monday night gutting 14 shops in the area. The incident occurred at 45-dukan area around 2 am. No human casualty was reported, however, the traders claimed to have suffered losses to tune of crores of rupees.
The traders said they will call the Chief Minister on Wednesday and seek financial relief for the loss. The traders alleged that loss escalated due to delay in the rescue work as power supply in the area was not suspended following the blaze. They claimed that the power supply was severed after almost half-an hour and by then fire had spread to other shops.
The teams of fire brigade from all the nearby fire stations were rushed to the spot. The fire was massive and 10 fire tenders battled for three hours to douse the flames. The operation finished around 5 am and by the time all the belongings in the shop have turned to ashes.
The 45-dukaan area is located at the centre of the New Market and all the shops are built adjacent to each other. The fire broke out in one shop and spread to other outlets rapidly. By the time some onlooker informed the fire brigade, the fire had gripped 10 shops around. The shops that were gutted dealt mainly in merchandise, stoves, tailoring and groceries. A cylinder blast was also reported in one of the buildings, said a fireman Rijwan. The firefighters could only prevent the blaze from spreading to the other buildings around.
The area is highly congested and due to narrow lanes the fire brigade heavy vehicles too had tough time reaching to the spot. The firemen in the presence of cops broke open the shutters of the shops to douse the flames.
Losses could have been minimized: Devnani
Ajay Devnani, secretary of the new market association alleged that the fire teams had arrived but the rescue work got delayed as the power supply was not suspended by the MPEB. The loss could have been minimized if the rescue work had started earlier, he added.