9-year-old girl charred to death in houseboat blaze

Authorities assure help to affected family
9-year-old girl charred to death in houseboat blaze
Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

Srinagar, May 27: In a tragic incident, a nine-year-old girl was charred to death in overnight blaze in a houseboat in Dal Lake Police said a houseboat was engulfed in fire near Ghat number 16 in Dal Lake. Soon the fire reduced the houseboat to ashes and the girl identified as Nadiya Bashir, daughter of Late Bashir Ahmad Goswani was charred to death.

“We were sleeping. Around 2 am we heard hue and cry. As we saw adjacent houseboat on fire, we rushed to provide help. Police also came to help but the blaze engulfed the whole houseboat and the girl could not be saved,” said a local.

Emotional scenes were witnessed as the parents and other family members were mourning death of the girl. The locals alleged that due to lack of Fire and Emergency Station in the vicinity, their lives and properties are at risk.

“This is not the first incident. Each time till help arrives, the damage is already done. The family has not lost only the property but also a precious life. We are hopeful everyone will come forward to help as multiple families were living in the houseboat,” said another local.

Rashid Khan, Adjutant with the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) said that their team reached the spot along with other emergency teams.

“The massive blaze gutted the houseboat and unfortunately took a young life. Our teams reached the spot and tried to provide all possible help. Police also registered a case related to it and investigation is going on,” Khan said.

Officials from the District administration and Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) also reached the spot to access the ground situation.

ADC Srinagar, Syed Hanief Balkhi who also visited the spot said that the administration will provide all possible help to the family.

“Currently the visit is more about paying condolences to the family who lost their daughter. This is a heartbreaking event and administration will do everything to provide all possible help,” Balkhi said.

Bashir Ahmed, VC LCMA, said that they will do everything to help the family resume a normal life.

“There are issues like timber on subsidy to build houseboats and other permissions. We have taken up these issues and everything will be done to facilitate the family as we did in previous cases,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar sanctioned ex-gratia relief of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kins of the deceased girl under SDRF. While essential assistance in the form of 15 blankets, 15 mattresses, 15-bed sheets and 3 kitchen sets and 3 tents, besides Rs 30,000 to all 3 affected families was also provided out of Red Cross as interim relief.

Further, the DC also sanctioned structure-wise financial assistance of Rs 30,000 under SDRF in favour of the affected families separately under the District Red Cross fund.

Meanwhile, the District Administration has appealed to the general public to follow all precautionary measures while handling electric/electronic gadgets, LPG cylinders and other appliances being used for heating and cooking purposes to avoid such incident.

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