Poor firefighting arrangement could be main reason behind blaze

first_imgKolkata: Despite repeated messages of caution by the state Fire and Emergency Services department, the lackadaisical attitude in maintaining a proper firefighting arrangement has come up as one of the many reasons behind the major fire at Bagree Market.Sovan Chatterjee, the state Fire and Emergency Services minister, said: “Officials had visited the Bagree Market, Mehta Building and such other buildings in Kolkata. The officials had cautioned them and also directed them to take necessary steps to avert such incidents of major fire.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhen asked if those measures were carried out, Chatterjee said: “Would we see such an unfortunate incident if the necessary steps were taken?”It is learned that the building was constructed in 1955 and it is under the jurisdiction of Bagree Estates Private Limited (BEPL). Initially, it was only a three-storeyed building to which three more floors were added later, sources said.On the other hand, the Bagree Market Welfare Association with around 450 members, came into existence a year ago that had its first meeting on Saturday. Members of the association were found raising fingers at the supervising authorities for poor maintenance of the firefighting arrangement. The fire-fighters are not ruling out the possibility that the electric pump was lying defunct for the past few days, as a result of which there was no water in the reservoir from where it could be supplied to the sprinklers. It has also been alleged that sprinklers and other firefighting arrangements were installed in the building a few months ago but there wasn’t any mock drill or mock test of the same conducted. Despite repeated attempts, Radha Bagree of Bagree Estates Private Limited could not be contacted for her reaction in this connection. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAgain, during their visit, officials of the state Fire and Emergency Services department had pointed out that most spaces in the market were occupied by the traders to store goods that would lead to trouble in case a major fire breaks out. The officials had also directed them to take necessary measures in this connection.There are around 900 shops, offices and godowns in the building that is situated inside the narrow Canning Street with several overhead wires and cables causing impediment to normal functioning of the hydraulic ladders.According to a senior official of the state Fire and Emergency Services department, the situation would have turned worse if the incident had taken place during weekdays as the market remains absolutely packed with people from all across the state.The officer added that they should have taken steps for proper maintenance of the firefighting equipment at least to avoid their own loss and destruction of business.last_img

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