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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Women dies while trying to save cash trunk from fire in Barola slum colony

cities Updated: Dec 04, 2019 20:42 IST
Preety Acharya
Preety Acharya
Hindustantimes
         

Noida: A 32-year-old woman was burnt to death after a fire which broke out around 12.30am Wednesday at a slum colony in Barola in Sector 49 while trying to retrieve a trunk, in which she kept all her money, from her burning shanty.

The incident happened on a plot belonging to three brothers, who live in the same area, and had rented out the plot to slum dwellers.

The deceased has been identified as Kanchan Biswas. She lived in one of the huts along with her husband Rabu Biswas, 35, and their 12-year-old son. Around 24 shanties had come up on the plot, of which 16 were burnt.

Kanchan managed to bring her husband and son out of the hut but again went in to drag out a trunk that had all their money. Just then, the ceiling fell on her, killing her. Her husband and son sustained minor burn injuries while trying to save her.

“My wife died while trying to save some cash which she had saved. We have a son here and a daughter who is in our village in West Bengal with our relatives. We have no clue about the cause of the fire,” a visibly shocked Rabu said, while leaving to complete the legal formalities.

Neighbours said Kanchan and her husband were saving money for their daughter’s wedding.

Another slum dweller, Inderjit Mahanto, 36, lost ₹30,000 to the fire. He said his wife had got the money from her employers only the previous night. “My wife works as a domestic help and had got her salary of two months from her employers on Tuesday evening. We were supposed to send that money to our parents in West Bengal. All my bank documents and ₹1,600 in my wallet were burnt in the fire,” Mahanto, who works as housekeeping staff in an upscale housing society in Noida, said.

The slum dwellers said the plot was given to them on rent by the three brothers. There are around three electricity meters which have been connected to sub-meters to provide power to the 24 shanties.

Dharmendra Kumar Sharma, station house officer, sector 49 police station, said, “The plot was given on rent to slum dwellers but we haven’t registered any FIR in the matter. We have submitted our report to the city magistrate who will decide on further action. The matter is under investigation and we will follow the instructions of senior officers.”

The city magistrate confirmed that renting out the plot to slum dwellers was illegal, but said the Noida authority was the agency responsible to look into this. “The construction of so many shanties on a single plot is illegal but the Noida authority has to remove such slum colonies. The matter is under investigation. We have started the procedure to give a compensation of ₹5 lakh to the family of the deceased,” Shailendra Mishra, city magistrate, Noida, said.

According to fire officers, the cause of fire is still unknown. “We are yet to ascertain the cause of fire but it is suspected that some heating equipment or a bonfire could have led to the incident. We had sent around five small water tankers to the slum colony as the lane to the spot was very congested. The fire was controlled within two hours,” Arun Kumar, chief fire officer, said.

On May 28, 2018, a major fire had taken place in the slum area of Barola which had left hundreds of people homeless. Officials said the fire was caused by a short circuit among multiple overlapping connections.

“A call on the registration of an FIR against the persons who have given the plot on rent will be taken once the final investigation report is submitted,” BN Singh, district magistrate, said.