Delhi: Traders blame market's poor infrastructure for delay in extinguishing fire
A major fire broke out in the market on Wednesday evening and the body of 19-year-old Shehnawaj was recovered from the second floor of a shop on Thursday morning, police had said
Hours after a charred body was recovered from a shop in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar cloth Market, where a fire broke out a day ago, traders blamed the area's poor infrastructure for delays in extinguishing the flame.
K K Balli, president of the Association of Wholesale Readymade Garment Dealers (Gandhi Nagar), claimed that two of the shops in the market were completely gutted by the fire and the traders rendered huge financial losses running into crores of rupees.
A major fire broke out in the market on Wednesday evening and the body of 19-year-old Shehnawaj was recovered from the second floor of a shop on Thursday morning, police had said.
Balli said it appears the fire was triggered by a short circuit in a shop and spread to nearby buildings.
"As it was Dusshera, the shopkeepers decided to close their shop at about 5 pm," he said.
Shehnawaj's brother, who worked with him in the same shop, saw smoke emitting from the store and realised his brother was still inside it. He attempted to break the locks and told his brother to go upstairs, Balli said.
We rang the fire department. However, due to the narrow lanes and mesh of hanging wire, the fire fighting operation got delayed and the fire spread to other shops, he said, adding the shops had combustible materials, mostly clothes which is why the fire spread quickly.
It took nearly 10 hours for the firefighters to douse the flames, fire officials said, adding a short circuit might have caused the fire.
"The traders have rendered crores of rupees of loss. The major hurdles I feel was narrow lanes and the poor infrastructures," Balli said.
Ramkishan, a trader who owns a shop adjacent to the one that was gutted in the fire said such incidents have become very frequent in the Delhi markets due to poor infrastructure.
"Have you seen the conditions of transformers and electrical poles? The wires are hanging everywhere. The wiring has not been changed for several years. So, short circuits are imminent," he said.
Around 35 fire tenders and 150 firefighters controlled the blaze which broke out around 5.40 pm on Wednesday, the officials said, adding the fire was extinguished at 3.30 am.