Railway quarters next to FOB bear the brunt of the fire
Friday’s fire engulfed over 1,300 shanties in Garib Nagar, leaving thousands homeless, but even the railway quarters, adjoining the railway foot overbridge (FOB) a part of which collapsed, has been severely damaged.
The dilapidated three-storey building has lost all its windows to the blaze, with wisps of the smoke damaging its façade too. The water connection in the building has been severed, leaving residents without water.
The Western Railway (WR), under whose authority the said building falls, has not taken cognisance of the difficulties faced by the residents. Five families of the railway employees, who live here, said this building was built during the British rule and was declared unsafe by the Railways about a decade ago.
Farida Dhamankar, wife of a railway employee who expired three years ago, is still waiting for her family to be shifted out to another railway quarter.
“Not a single railway official visited us. When we contacted them, they said, they will shift us only when rooms at railway quarters in any other area will be vacant,” said Dhamankar.
Another resident of this dilapidated building, Naseem Sayyed, whose brother is a railway employee, said her brother had written several letters to the concerned railway officials asking them to shift them out of this place at the earliest, but all his efforts went in vain. “This building was already in a bad condition and Friday’s blaze made matters worse. The railway authorities had promised to repair the building, but so far they have not done anything,” said Sayyed.
The WR chief public relation officer, Sharat Chandrayan said, “We would see if the damages can be repaired, otherwise we would shift them in other quarters soon. We keep some vacant quarters for emergency.”
When asked about when they would be shifting these residents, PRO said the management will decide on it soon.