The devastating inferno in Burrabazar here has destroyed property worth Rs 1000 crore, ruined 1700 shops and left 15,000 families in the lurch, Rajasthani traders, who constituted a bulk of businessmen at the market, have said.
Over 4000 businessmen, 80 per cent of non-resident Rajasthanis, were the worst affected and may not be able to restart their shops immediately as no rehabilitation plan and alternative area of marketing has been thought of by the Buddhadeb government, Bulakidas Mimani, Secretary of Chamber of Textile and Industry (COTTI) told a six-member visiting media team here on Wednesday.
Over 1200 shops in Nandaram and Kansiram markets, and 500 shops in eight out of 14
(congested lanes' shops) in tarpaulin were gutted, and goods in hundreds of other shops were ruined, Mimani, who has made a preliminary assessment, said.
Earlier talking to reporters, President Rajasthan Foundation (Kolkata chapter) and Managing Director of Shree Cement LTD, Harimohan Bangur said the West Bengal government should take up the rehabilitation and revival of business on a war footing besides providing job opportunities to labourers who have came on the streets after the blaze.
There is an apprehension among the traders that the state government and municipal corporation could demolish the entire fire affected buildings and create new malls for new businessmen neglecting Rajasthanis, Bangur said.
Bangur, who announced a donation of Rs 21 lakh to the CM relief fund of West Bengal said, the fire was not caused by sabotage and the government should help rehabilitate small traders.