Gurgaon slum fire: Residents demand compensation, probe
Gurgaon’s district welfare society handed a cheque of ₹1 lakh to the kin of the deceased six-year-oldgurgaon Updated: May 30, 2017 23:29 IST
Over 100 migrant families lost everything in the blaze that burnt their shanties at the DLF phase 1 slum to ashes on Sunday night. The fire spread so fast that the dwellers did not have time to salvage their belongings. Majority of them could not save anything as they ran for their lives.
However, the district administration has come to the rescue of the family which lost a member in the incident. “The district welfare society issued a cheque of ₹1 lakh to the family of the deceased. It will also bear the cost of the ambulance for taking his charred remains to the family’s home town, Bareily. The district Red Cross Society is providing food, water and other amenities to the 500 people who have been affected by the fire,” Shyam Sunder, secretary of the society, said.
Most of the victims in the slum work as maids and daily wage labourers in posh condominiums in the DLF area. Charred remains of household goods was lying unattended in burnt huts even as people tried to console each other and take stock of the situation.
“I have lost everything. My gas stove, clothes, television and the fridge are of no use now. I don’t know how soon we will be to lead our normal lives again. All the household goods were acquired after almost a decade of hard work, but now everything is lost,” Baby Devi, who works as a maid in DLF Phase 1, said.
Not only household items, a majority of residents also lost critical documents including bank pass books, voter ID cards and even Aadhaar cards. “I had put all my earnings and some important documents in a box. All are gone now,” Pankaj Singh, a migrant from Bhagalpur, said.
The slum residents also alleged that there was every possibility that fire incident could be an act of sabotage. “A person was seen running away from the spot after the fire broke out. There was a scuffle here yesterday and it could also have led to the incident. We want a thorough investigation into the incident,” Ravi Kumar, another migrant, whose shanty was burned down, said.
Most of the residents now want the district administration to help them with compensation and food so that they can rebuild their lives. “We want food and water and also help for rebuilding our huts,” he said.
An official of the fire department said that there was a need to investigate how these shanties managed to get over 800 power connections. “There are no meters and the connections are illegal. The use of small cylinders in these huts also needs to be probed,” he said.