Jammu & Kashmir

Properties worth Rs 3 cr consumed by fire in Ganderbal last year: Data

A fire and emergency department vehicle stands outside station. [FPK Photo/ Kaisar Ali]

Ganderbal: The Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district has witnessed 149 fire incidents last year, causing losses worth Rs 3 crore.

The alarming figures highlight the urgent need for enhanced fire safety measures in the district. Besides, data obtained by the news agency Kashmir News Observer showed the fires devoured the lives of 24 people.

The affected properties included residential houses, a mosque, a Dar-ul-Awam, commercial centers, government buildings, tin sheds, cowsheds, poplar trees, electricity transformers, vehicles, poultry farms, a dairy farm, and gas cylinders. The estimated cost of the damaged assets surpasses 3 crores, leaving a trail of devastation.

Electric short circuit has been found to be responsible for 80% fire incidents. Amid the losses, the district is equipped with only five fire stations across 139 revenue areas, raising concerns among the local population.

An official from the Fire Service Department acknowledged the severity of the situation and revealed that the department witnessed a 25% reduction in fire incidents compared to the previous year.

He attributed the decline to proactive measures, including public awareness campaigns and enhanced fire protection procedures implemented by the department.

Tragically, the year 2023 also saw seven people, including two firefighters from the Fire and Emergency Department, sustain injuries while battling the blazes.

This underscores the challenges faced by emergency responders and emphasises the need for a comprehensive approach to fire safety in Ganderbal.

The district is now at a crossroads, with residents and business owners urging the establishment of additional fire stations in prominent tourist spots like Sonmarg and Manasbal as well as other areas including Tulmulla. (KNO)

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