7 houseboats gutted in massive fire at Nigeen Lake, property worth crores of rupees damaged
Srinagar: Seven houseboats were gutted in a massive fire at Nigeen Lake here during the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. Property worth crores of rupees was destroyed in the blaze.
A number of tourists, who were putting up in the houseboats, were safely evacuated by the locals and officials.
Three sheds were also destroyed in the fire. Giving details officials said the fire started at around 2 am from a houseboat and it engulfed the other adjacent houseboats.
Officials said that as the reports of fire were received, around six fire tenders were rushed to the spot and pressed into service to douse the flames.
Bilal Ahmed Badyari, one of the victims, while talking to Greater Kashmir said that locals and officials tried to help out but in no time fire spread across the wooden structures and engulfed multiple houseboats.
“We have lost our livelihood in the peak season. Our employees are depending on these houseboats for their livelihood and everything was gutted. Since the houseboats are made of wood, the fire destroyed them immediately. We have lost property worth crores of rupees and many people associated with it have lost their source of income. We appeal to the administration to help us financially so that we can rebuild these houseboats,” Badyari said.
He said that a number groups of tourists were putting up in the houseboats who were safely evacuated by the locals and officials.
President, Nigeen Tourist Traders Association, Manzoor Ahmed Wangnoo told Greater Kashmir that the incident is a big loss to the tourist players of Nigeen Lake. He said that government should quickly help the victims so that they can rebuild.
“We hope that LG administration will provide all possible help as the owners have suffered huge losses. We will also jointly try to provide all possible help. We also hope that safety mechanism to avoid such incidents are enhanced,” Wangnoo said.
The owners of the damaged houseboats were identified as Ghulam Mohammad Badyari, Bashir Ahmed Badyari, Mohammad Yusuf, Abdul Rashid, Abdul Qayoom and Raj Mohammad. The houseboats damaged include Royal Paradise, India Palace, Jersey, Lily of the world, New Maharaja Palace, Young Swift and Flora.
The houseboat owners said that it took a lot of time for emergency service to reach the spot which made the situation worse.
“The fire started from India Palace Houseboat and within no time the fire spread. We were able to save three houseboats. Fire and Emergency Services took extra time to arrive which made the issue worse,” Abdul Majeed Badyari, one of the houseboat owners.
The houseboat owners at Nigeen lake have appealed the government to enhance the safety measure near houseboats. They also appealed to the administration to provide all possible help to victims.