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14 residential houses, 25 shops gutted in Bhalessa inferno
People rue absence of fire stations
4/20/2017 10:28:26 PM
Asif Iqbal Naik
Early Times Report

Jammu, Apr 20: In yet another fire incident in one of the remote Bhalessa area of Doda District, at least 14 residential houses and 25 shops were completely damaged when a massive fire engulfed the area last mid night.
As per the details available with Early Times, the fire broke out in one of the shops in Bhatyas village of Gandoh Sub Division in Doda district, at around 12 Mid night when the majority of the people were sleeping and soon the fire spread to adjoining shops and populated areas. 14 houses and 25 shops were reduced to ashes causing losses huge losses.
As soon as the people noticed the flames, they immediately raised the alarm as a result of which police teams from adjoining areas along with army and local people immediately rushed to the spot and started rescue operation, but due to lack of firefighting equipment, the public property could not be saved from damages. However there was no loss of life as all the inhabitants of the gutted houses were evacuated on time. The angry villagers slammed the government for its failure in meeting the long pending demand of opening of fire station at Gandoh block. This is the fourth fire incident in the area in last one month in which dozens of shops and houses have been gutted under mysterious circumstances.
Meanwhile MLA from Inderwal, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori has expressed regret and serious concern over the growing number of fire incidents in his constituency. He expressed his concern over the non-preparedness of the government to meet emergent situations in the far flung areas and added that the government must come out with contingency plan so as to save the public property and loss of life in these districts.
He called on Minister for Revenue and Rehabilitation, Abdul Rehman Veeri at Jammu and asked him to ensure ample and immediate relief measures for fire victims. He also wrote to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti demanding proper and timely compensation, relief for the affected families so that they could build up their houses again.
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