SRINAGAR , NOVEMBER ,11
8 people rescued; investigation on; Will ensure proper compensation to affect: DC Sgr; Sec Tourism, SSP Sgr, VC LCMA meet fire affected; LG Sinha expresses grief, says District Admin directed to provide all necessary assistance to affected*
Rehan Qayoom Mir
Srinagar, Nov 11 :
Three human lives were lost while five houseboats and seven residential huts worth Crores were damaged in the deadly pre-dawn blaze in Dal Lake in Srinagar, officials said Saturday.
Eye-witnesses told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that around 5 am when everyone was in a deep slumber, a fire broke out from a houseboat that spread into nearby houseboats in Dal Lake. “Flames were seen coming out of five houseboats,” they said.
An official said that in one of the houseboats Safeena, three persons who were sleeping, got killed while eight more who were staying in other houseboats nearby were rescued on time.
“The damaged houseboats include Safeena Houseboat, New Safina Houseboat, Royal Safina Houseboat, Khar Palace Houseboat and Lala Rukh Houseboat,” an official said.
“Swift and coordinated efforts were launched by the Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), River Police, local residents and Jammu and Kashmir police department to bring the flames under control, as their combined diligence played a crucial role in preventing further escalation of the tragedy,” the official said.
An official from F&ES, told KNO that, “we received the fire call at around 5:15 AM regarding the fire incident at Mir Mohalla, Ghat no 09, Dal Lake, Srinagar, and we swiftly sent the fire services from the receiving station to the spot. After arriving, they found five houseboats along with nine residential structures involved in the fire incident.”
He said: “The F&ES team acted professionally and doused the flames carefully, as the LPG cylinders inside the houseboat also blasted, causing panic in the area, and hence, no loss of life or any injuries were reported from the side of F&ES.”
The Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, Muhammad Ajaz Asad, along with tourism officials, visited the affected areas to assess the situation first-hand. Speaking on the occasion, the DC Sgr said, “I have personally checked and inspected the houseboats; the district administration, along with the government, is side by side with the houseboat owners, and we will try to give and fulfil all the needs of the people here, and also provide them compensation and other relief material as well.”
Manzoor Pakhtoon, president Houseboat Association Kashmir, when contacted, told KNO that they are thankful to DC Srinagar, Secretary Tourism Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, SSP Srinagar Ashish Kumar Mishra, VC LCMA, and other officials who visited the fire incident site and assured full cooperation.
When asked about the permission for these houseboats being renovated, he said that it has a proper procedure and they have already asked the administration for the same. “It needs a high-level meeting in which the VC LCMA, Tourism department, and other departments are also involved,” he emphasized.
A police spokesman in a statement to KNO said that a massive fire broke out in the houseboats along Ghat no. 9 in Dal Lake area early morning on Saturday. “The conflagration quickly spread and engulfed 05 houseboats namely Safeena , Sabreena, Young Gulshan, Lala Rukh and Khar Palace.
“Seven residential huts and neighbouring houses in the vicinity were also gutted in the ensuing blaze. Three tourists from Bangladesh namely Anindaya Kowshal, Das Gupta and Muhammad Moinud, who were staying in houseboat Safeena lost their lives in the devastating fire,” the spokesman said, adding that eight people staying in these houseboats were rescued and evacuated to safety through timely and valiant action by joint efforts of Srinagar Police, SDRF, Tourist Police, F&ES and civilians. “A fire incident report in this regard has been lodged in PS RM Bagh and investigation initiated,” the police spokesman said,
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condoled the loss of lives in an unfortunate fire incident at Dal Lake, Srinagar. “I am deeply pained by the loss of lives due to the unfortunate fire incident at Dal Lake, Srinagar. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. I have directed the District Administration to provide all necessary assistance to the affected persons,” the Lt Governor said in an official statement issued here—(KNO)