42 vegetable carts, three shops damaged in Handwara blaze
Handwara: At least 43 vegetable carts and three shops suffered damage in a massive blaze leaving dozens of families shattered in north Kashmir’s Handwara area, reports said Monday .
General Secretary Traders Federation Handwara Shahzad Ahmad said that all the 43 vegetable carts have gutted in the fire incident and all of them had around 1 to 1.5 lakh rupees stock available with them which has turned into ashes in the incident in just 15 minutes of the blaze.
He said that shops in the proximity of the vegetable market have also suffered damage including those where water entered while dousing the flames.
Shahzad said that all the available vegetables costing around Rs 40-45 lakhs got damaged in the incident and the shopkeepers having stock within also has suffered a loss.
He said that as of now the trade is waiting for the response of the administration since they have approached the advisor to the lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan for paying a visit to the place.
Hilal Ahmad, one of the cart owners said that at least 42 people were earning their livelihood here but in just a matter of few minutes, everything turned into ashes with huge losses to all those working here.
“Government had already proposed to construct this place but it didn’t till date and the damage fire has caused can be seen and now the authorities should at least develop this place so that all make a comeback and earn a living since there is no other alternate or source of income,” he said.
Hilal claimed to have borrowed vegetables just moments before the incident of over Rs 1 lakh which has turned into ashes now.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Handwara Nazir Ahmad, when contacted said that early this morning he visited the area to access the situation and damage suffered at the spot.
“The affected area is a small vegetable market and all the carts there have suffered damage and around 2-3 concrete shops nearby have also suffered damage in the fire incident,” the ADC said.
“We have conducted a ground survey of loss assessment and the same will be submitted to the government for relief and rehabilitation for all those affected by the fire incident”, ADC said.
Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sandeep Gupta visited the spot earlier and prayed that the unfortunate incident should not surface in the future saying that the operation to douse the flames was a joint effort of the Army, Police, and the general public.
Official sources informed that Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kupwara Imam Din also visited Handwara and held a meeting with the officials and members of the traders federation related to the incident. (KNO)