BLAZE DESTROYS GUREZ VILLAGE
26 Structures Gutted
Bandipora, Mar 9: At least 26 structures including 20 houses and a masjid were gutted in a devastating fire near the Line of Control (LoC) at Tulail in Gurez area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Wednesday.
Fire broke out in a house at Buduab village and spread rapidly to the adjoining houses and within no time engulfed 26 structures in the village.
According to reports, 20 houses were completely gutted while six structures were partially damaged in the devastating inferno. However, there was no loss of life in the incident.
Sources said that Army and locals reached to the spot and started rescue operation, carrying water in buckets and other utensils to douse the rising flames. However, their efforts failed to yield any results till the fire spread in the entire village.
Though civil authorities and Fire Services Department said that the exact reasons for the fire were yet to be ascertained, villagers alleged that a minor fire incident engulfed the entire area as fire tenders failed to reach on time.
“Fire tenders were empty when they reached the spot which proves the irresponsible attitude of the department,” said Bashir Ahmed Lone, a local resident.
“Dozens of houses were reduced to ashes by the time fire tenders came to the village. We time and again requested the state government to install water motors to avoid such fire incidents but of no avail,” rued the locals.
An Army spokesman said soldiers provided shelter to the affected people. “Army doctors were pressed into service. In addition, the entire population of 400 persons was distributed food and provided blankets by the soldiers,” the spokesman said.
Locals said that due to lack of fire fighting facilities in the area huge damage is caused to the property in such incidents.
“Every year we are losing property worth crores of rupees but government is not taking any serious steps to control these accidents,” said Shamsul Yaseen Lone, a local resident.
Fire accidents are common in Gurez valley especially during the winters when people make use of heaters.
According to government records, about 1900 houses, nine masjids and seven schools have been gutted in nine fire incidents since 2006 in the area.
“Government should take solid steps to curb routine fire accidents in this cold valley which lacks main as well as inner road connectivity, even there is no sufficient fire fighting facility in the area,” the villagers appealed.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Manzoor Ahmad Lone said, “We rushed to the spot and took stock of the situation.”
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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