A major fire broke out at the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) transformer repair workshop on Sunday.
According to the initial estimates, goods worth more than Rs 1.5 crore were gutted at the repair facility located on the Kunjpura road. Besides transformers, there was a huge stock of oil used in the transformers and it helped in spreading the fire in the large open campus.
“The fire was noticed around 11.15am and it took more than five hours to control it. Fire tenders from Karnal, Kurukshetra and Indian Oil Refinery, Panipat, were pressed into service to control the blaze. We are assessing the losses,” said a UHBVN official, pleading anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The incident exposed the poor preparedness of the local administration in crisis management. Though a large number of policemen were present on the spot, but they failed to stop onlookers from entering the fire-hit campus.
Presence of the general public and journalists near the fire hindered the movement of fire tenders and earth moving machines.
Officer on special duty to the chief minister at his Karnal camp office Amarendra Singh the briefed television journalists a few meters away from the fire spot. A large number of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their supporters were also seen on the spot.
The police also failed to manage vehicular movement outside the premises.