A major fire incident took place in Uri at 2am on Wednesday. Locals allege that property worth crores was damaged, though the officials estimate the loss to be almost Rs 40 lakh.
“The property worth Rs 90 lakh got affected in this fire but our estimation of loss is Rs 40 lakh,” says Abdul Khaliq, the DFO, Baramulla.
Last month, January 26, a centuries old historical Jamia Masjid in Bijhama, Uri was gutted and a nearby residential house was also partially damaged.
Locals accuse poor administration for this huge loss. “The administration does not pay any heed to our demands. We have been pleading them for fire stations in our villages but there is no response,” says a local resident from Uri.
The fire incidents get worst and the damages are huge as there is only one fire tender catering to the population of more than one lakh people.
“The population of 1.25 lakh depends on a single fire tender, we mostly rely on [the infrastructure] of Army and NHPC,” says Showkat Ahmed, the SDM Uri.
The damage in the midnight’s fire incident is more because of the non-availability of proper infrastructure.
“A single fire tender could not control the fire and the nearest fire station on which we relied was almost 45km away in Baramulla,” said the fire officer.
Besides, the firemen had tough time dosing off the flames as there is no water source in main market Uri. The only source of water was a Nallah, near Nansing bridge, almost two kilometres from the site.
The fire tenders were assisted by the water tankers of the army which was bucketed-out by civilians and army men to dose-off flames.
Locals allege that negligence of administration is taking toll on their business investments.