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Malda fire ravages 350 houses; residents agitate over later arrival of fire tenders

Monday, 1 April 20130 comments

Malda, April 1: At least 350 earthen tiles and thatched roofed houses were burnt down to ashes and few cattle were killed at Chandipur Dangila village of Tulsihata gram panchayet under Harischandrapur police station 120 kilometers away from Malda today. Aggrieved villagers agitated against the fire-brigade personnel after only one engine went there to extinguish the fire. 

Administrative officials rushed to the village by the instructions of the district magistrate G Kiran Kumar to take stock of the situations and to distribute relief materials among the fire victims.It has been learnt from Congress member of Malda Zilla Parishad Abdus Salam that heap of wheat hay caught fire somehow and soon the fire caught mud houses of the village with wind. He alleged that before the engine of fire-brigade had gone to the spot allegedly two hours after incident, entire village was torched down.

The pradhan of Tulshihata gram panchayet Bijali Saha that as most of the villagers had gone for farming during the fire, hence they were late in extinguishing the fire. “As the majority of the villagers are labourers and farmers, they are virtually left with nothing. Administrations have been informed the details,” Saha said over phone.

Rejaul Sheikh, whose house was torched by fire today said, “It was hard to go close to the houses on fire as it was formidable. Everything was torched before the fire brigade came.”Other villagers Saidul Sheikh, Mamud Sheikh and others said it did not take long for the whole village to be gutted.They alleged that fire-brigade was quite late in reaching the spot and they had nothing to do. They agitated against the fire-brigade personnel.

SDO-Chanchal Palas Sengupta, BDO of Harischandrapur I Sudarshan Choudhury and others rushed to the spot soon after the incident.DM, Malda G Kiran Kumar said, “SDO and local BDO were asked to arrange distribution of relief among the villagers immediately. They have been also asked to serve cooked food among the villagers.”

Forward Bloc MLA of Harischandrapur Tajmul Hossain said, “It has long been demanded to setup a fire-brigade centre in Harischandrapur. The village could have been saved if there had been a local fire-brigade centre.” It may be mentioned that the nearest fire brigade centre was 20 kilometers away in Chanchal.

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