ANOTHER FIRE AT RANGRETH INDUSTRIAL ESTATE

COTTON FACTORY GUTTED; GOVT CAUGHT NAPPING, WATER FIVE KMS AWAY

GK CITY CORRESPONDENT

Srinagar, Jan 18: Another devastating fire last night at Valley’s ace industrial estate –the SIDCO complex Rangreth in Srinagar –reduced  a cotton factory  to cinder while luck seems to have prevented its spread to other units as the firefighters had a tough time dousing the blazes due to non-availability of water, which had to be finally fetched from some five kilometres away from the spot.
 With this being government’s preparedness towards fire-fighting at  the industrial estate, which houses some of the leading firms including globally renowned software development companies,  BPOs and a Union IT Ministry run DOEACC main office; the scene elsewhere in the Valley can only be imagined.

THE INCIDENT
 The fire erupted at around 2:30 AM from an industrial unit dealing with cotton and in no time spread to entire premises where huge stocks of the raw material were piled.
 In no time, smoke engulfed the area and flames rose up.
 The witnesses said staffers at the adjacent E-Tech printing press, a unit worth over Rs 100 million, raised an alarm and tried to call the fire fighters.
 But given the huge flames, the E-Tech people took no chances and started using their own resources including fire-extinguishers to control the flames.
 In the meantime, one of their colleagues contacted the Fire and Emergency Services Department (FESD) officials who rushed in a team.

THE IRONY
 As the firefighters, led by Divisional Fire Officer Muhammad Rafiq Khan swung to action, they started looking for some water source to keep the canons on.
 “But we were shocked to see that there was no water source anywhere except a private reservoir with the E-Tech people… But that exhausted within a couple of minutes,” Rafiq told Greater Kashmir while monitoring the firefighting operations.
 As the flames declined to recede, the firefighters started looking for water source in the estate on the highlands but couldn’t find one, they said. The only source they found viable was around five kilometres away at Bagh-e-Mehtab.
 “In no time our teams installed water pumps to fetch water from the remote source and luckily it worked,” Khan said adding the fire was brought under control in around three hours.

THE LOOPHOLES
 The DFO said that the affected unit had failed to adhere to fire safety standards. “It’s the third fire at the same unit and second time for the second consecutive year… Still these people haven’t come up with fire safety measures as we couldn’t see any such initiative,” the official said.
 He hailed the voluntary work of the staffers at the adjacent E-Tech including Abdul Rahim, who utilized their personal equipment to douse the neighbourhood fire and even informed the FESD.
 The unit holders hailed the efforts of the SIDCO Estates Manager, Muhammad Amin for his support in the firefighting while some of the whistleblowers said SHO Kothi Bagh, Muzaffar Khan played a pivotal role in informing the control room.

THE CONCERN
 Even though the Rangreth industrial estate houses some of the leading industries including ALBA, Kohinoor and the prestigious Software Technology Park; it neither has any water reservoirs for fire-fighting nor is there any fire station in the vicinity.
 The only nearest fire station is at-least five kilometres away at Rawal Pora and has mere two fire tenders at its disposal. For the rest of the emergency services, the industrial estate is dependant on FESD headquarters at Batmaloo, some nine kilometres away from the spot. And given the traffic congestion on the south City route to Rangreth even a big industrial unit could be gutted to cinder by the time adequate firefighting teams reach there.
 And this has already happened in 2009 when a factory manufacturing plastic products was reduced to cinder.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST




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ANOTHER FIRE AT RANGRETH INDUSTRIAL ESTATE

COTTON FACTORY GUTTED; GOVT CAUGHT NAPPING, WATER FIVE KMS AWAY

GK CITY CORRESPONDENT

Srinagar, Jan 18: Another devastating fire last night at Valley’s ace industrial estate –the SIDCO complex Rangreth in Srinagar –reduced  a cotton factory  to cinder while luck seems to have More




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