Monday's fire at a stove repair shop in Gulshan Bazar had raised several questions on the role of various government departments. It is yet not clear as to who allowed the shop owner Daya Sagar to keep 10 subsidised LPG cylinders. He used to fill gas in small cylinders out of these and used to sell each at Rs. 360.
Morover, the administration has also invited criticism for not using a bike fitted with a fire extinguisher that was launched more than six months back. There is no explanation as to why this was not used, even as it has been lying unused in the office of the deputy commissioner, since its launch.
The fire could have been doused faster and with much better efficiency as the three fire tenders took a lot of time to reach the spot due to the narrow streets. Reportedly, the bike had not even been handed over to the fire department. A trained operator for the bike is also yet to be recruited.
The fire incident occurred allegedly due to gas leakage from one of the cylinders, when Daya Sagar was repairing a gas stove. As there were 10 LPG cylinders at hand, 10 blasts were reported to have occurred.
Four people residing on the first floor of the shop managed to exit the building before the fire could spread further.
District food and supply controller, Baljinder Singh Dhillon said, "Monday's incident has surprised the department too. We need to know that how did the owner manage to keep more than 10 cylinders in a single shop."
"This should not have happened and the department will soon launch a special drive in the city to stop such illegal transfer of gas to small LPG cylinders."
Investigation officer into the incident, Nawanshahr tehsildar Shiv Kumar said that shop owner was still absconding and the administration was conducting raids at his home and other places to nab the suspect.
"I will write to the administration and will recommend the registration of a case against shop owner Daya Sagar," said Kumar.
He said that Daya Sagar had been plying with his illegal trade for the past several years and the administration had never received a complaint about him. On the issue of the bike lying defunct, he said that that it would be handed over to the fire department within two days. He claimed that the handover had been delayed due to some delay in documentation.