Delhi

Fire breaks out at illegal furniture market; metro services disrupted

A major fire broke out at a furniture market in Kalindi Kunj in New Delhi close to the metro line on Friday morning.

A major fire broke out at a furniture market in Kalindi Kunj in New Delhi close to the metro line on Friday morning.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Shopkeepers allege fire tenders arrived late; DFS chief refutes claim

A major fire broke out at an unauthorised furniture market in south-east Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj close to the metro line on Friday morning. No injuries were reported in the incident but metro services between Kalindi Kunj and Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh were stopped for nearly five hours.

Javed, a 35-year-old labourer working at one of the shops, recalled that around 4.45 a.m., he woke up hearing his goat’s screams. When he stepped out of the shop, he saw fire in one of the shops. “The goat must have felt the heat and it started screaming. I immediately woke up others and told them to leave their shops,” he said.

Javed claimed that he had called the police and fire department around 5.15 a.m. and also informed his employer, who reached the place by 5.20 a.m.

‘Ill-equipped’

Abdul Inaam, a shopkeeper, alleged that fire tenders reached the spot late and were also not well equipped. “The fire tenders reached around 6.30 a.m. If they had come earlier, then the fire might not have spread to other areas. When the first fire tender came, the water got over and they had to take water from Kalindi Kunj metro station,” he alleged.

Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg refuted the claim and said that they had received the call at 5.26 a.m. and the first fire tender reached the spot within seven minutes. “We got another call from our official at 5.48 a.m. saying that more fire tenders and seniors are required,” he said adding that 17 fire tenders were pressed into service and the fire was doused by 9 a.m. However, the cooling off process continued for the next few hours.

The unauthorised furniture market, with over 20 shops selling repaired wooden and iron gates and windows, had been running for the last two decades on irrigation land and were later relocated below the magenta line.

Worried over his livelihood, Javed said that he had been working in the market for nearly 17 years and lost everything, including his phone’s charger. There are about 30-40 labourers who work and reside in the shops.

As a result of the fire, metro services on the stretch between Kalindi Kunj and Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh were temporarily halted, said officials of the DMRC.

“As a precautionary measure, services were regulated between the two stations from 6 a.m. to 10.20 a.m. DMRC roped in feeder buses in this section so that passengers can get connectivity for the entire line,” the officials said.

In the remaining sections of the corridor that runs from Botanical Garden to Janakpuri West, the trains were run in loops,” officials added.

Normal services were restored around 10.30 a.m.

(With inputs from Shinjini Ghosh)

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 9:23:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/fire-at-delhis-kalindi-kunj-metro-service-stopped/article28094292.ece

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