Gutted PDD building dismantled
Employees’ hail colleague for saving service books
GK CITY CORRESPONDENT
Srinagar, Sept 18: Using bulldozers, the authorities on Saturday razed to ground the building of Power Development Department, which was gutted in a fire on Eid-ul-Fitr.
The PDD officials said the government got the structure dismantled on war footing ahead of the Central team’s three-day visit to the Valley.
“There are no remains of the gutted building. It’s simply a ground zero situation now,” a senior PDD official told Greater Kashmir.
The official, however, said it was not PDD’s decision, but some other government agency got the building dismantled on priority.
Officials said it was for the first time that a gutted structure was razed to ground within a week from the incident which occurred at Jehangir Chowk here, near the Civil Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly.
“Definitely, many structures gutted during the turmoil have been still standing in ruins in Srinagar for years. But this one was cleared as it was giving a shabby look just near the top offices,” the official said.
Pertinently, the government says the building was torched allegedly by the protesters on Eid while the Hurriyat (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who was accused of inciting the violence on the day has been refuting the charges.
Meanwhile, even as most of the important documents belonging to the department and its state of the art computer laboratory were gutted in the blaze, the service books of around 3000 employees were saved by the timely action of a PDD employee posted there.
PDD spokesman said Syed Rasool Shah, an Executive Engineer posted there was quick enough to reach the site and help the fire-fighters to retrieve the precious documents from the ground floor.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Shah said, on the day, he received a call from the Chief Engineer, PDD that the building was on fire.
“I was at Qamarwari that time and rushed towards the site,” he said. Shah, who is retiring from the service this month, was prompt enough to ask the fire-fighters to take out the Service Books.
Even though he couldn’t get any safety attires like the firefighters, the Xen himself volunteered to enter the building on fire.
“The room where the service records were kept wasn’t burning but the steam coming down from the upper story was enough to burn my skin. As if I was being cooked in a pressure-cooker,” Shah recalls adding in the meantime other PDD officials including the Chief Engineer’s driver reached on the spot and took out the lockers.
“The government employees’ future lies in the service book. If it is damaged a career is at stake,” Shah said adding this was why he found it his duty to save the files.
The officials of PDD have appreciated Shah’s for his endeavour.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 19 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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