A major fire broke out in the Banjar area of the district on Monday night, razing 13 houses in which 17 families were residing and 14 shopkeepers running their business. Though no loss of life has been reported, property valued at `2 crore was destroyed in the blaze. The disaster has inflicted losses on 31 families, four of which lost their homes.
Deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar visited the scene and provided immediate financial assistance to the families affected. “The district administration has given `350,000 as immediate relief to every family that was affected and has also provided them shelter at the health department’s residential building and the forest department’s rest house. The administration is also providing other essential commodities to them.”
Police officials said the cause of the fire had yet to be determined, adding a team of forensic experts had also visited the site to collect samples to ascertain whether the fire was lit deliberately.
Despite an increasing number of fire incidents in the Banjar area, the area still does not have a fire station which residents have been demanding for a long time.
Banjar MLA Karan Singh also visited the scene but had to beat a hasty retreat when angry people especially women vent out their ire on him, forcing him to leave the place immediately.