Delhi slums an instant recipe for disaster, warn fire fighters | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi slums an instant recipe for disaster, warn fire fighters

delhi Updated: Apr 19, 2010 12:25 IST

Slums in Delhi seem to be sitting on a tinder box with five persons killed, 50 injured and over 1,250 hutments gutted this month alone.

Fire fighters say this can be checked by taking measures like banning commercial activities in slum clusters, supplying power through underground cables and regulate electric installations in various premises in such places.

They attribute the increasing incidents of fire in slums to materials used in constructing hutments, storage of combustible waste and a web of electric wires passing through slums resulting in short-circuits.

Add to it, lack of communication facilities to inform fire brigade about any incident on time and the narrow lanes to reach inside the slums. It serves as an "instant recipe" for disaster, warn fire fighters.

"Fire in slums are caused mainly due to the present extreme heat conditions that makes the material with which the huts are made more combustible and short-circuits in electric wires," R C Sharma, Director of Delhi Fire Services, told PTI.

"Also, the material with which the hutments are made produce toxic gases when it catches fire," he said.

Yesterday, one person was charred to death and two were injured when fire broke out in two slum clusters in the capital gutting 400 hutments.

Thirty people, including 21 children and four women, were injured in fire caused by a leaking gas cylinder at a teashop in Shalimar Bagh last Tuesday. In another incident on the same day, 175 slum dwellings were gutted in Shaheen Bagh.

There were at least seven major incidents of fire in slums across the capital this month.

Sharma said they have appealed to the government and civic bodies to ban commercial activities in slum clusters besides supplying power through underground cables and regulate electric installations in various premises.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has already made it clear that it will ensure there are no commercial activities in slum clusters.