A FIRE that broke out in the Nagar Nigam market on Monday night, gutted 16 shops and damaged property worth Rs 2 crores. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
After the Sagar Municipal Corporation fire department, cantonment and other civic bodies failed to control the fire, the Army was called in.
According to sources, at 11.30 pm on Monday some shop owners noticed a fire in the cloth shop of Prasoon Jain, situated on the first floor.
People tried to call the shop owner and also informed the SMC fire brigade, which, however, failed to reach in time. As a result, the fire in no time spread to the neighbouring cloth and computer shops.
When the four local fire brigades of SMC, cantonment and from Rahatgarh could not bring the fire under control, the District Collector called in the Army.
City magistrate Anurag Saxena said more than 50 Army jawans, a Brigadier and other officials upon reaching the spot, started rescue work and were finally able to control the fire.
In the confusion, onlookers looted goods and also damaged property of the shop owners. District Collector Shiv Shekhar Shukla and Superintendent of Police and other officials reached the spot to monitor rescue work that cam to en end at 4 am.
Even as administration began granting immediate aid to the affected victims, shop owners today sat on indefinite dharna. Market association resident Rafik Khan said 16 shops had been looted and gutted and property worth approximately Rs two crore had been lost.
The City magistrate said the administration was trying its best to help the victims and under the RBC Act 6 and 4, immediate help of Rs 4,000 and a loan of Rs 18,000 will be given to the affected victims.
He also said a proposal will be prepared to obtain soft loan from the State Government which will be sent to the Chief Minister Fund for approval.
Until late evening the Mayor, SMC president and other public representatives had not visited the market to assess the situation.