Delhi: Thousands homeless after fire in shanties | Delhi News


There were around 250 shanties closely packed due to which the fire had spread quickly, fire officials said

NEW DELHI: Thousands of residents of a transit camp in Tughlaqabad in southeast Delhi were left homeless in the scorching heat after a major fire gutted their shanties in the early hours of Tuesday. The fire department had sent 32 fire tenders to douse the flames that were brought under control within a few hours but the cooling operation took a long time. This was the third time that a fire gutted the camp in the past five years.
Though no lives were lost, an eight-year-girl suffered about 30% burns while her mother and aunt were injured while trying to save her.
Tughlaqabad fire: Govt announces Rs 25,000 ex gratia
Fire officers said that initially the fire had begun as a small blaze at one corner of the camp on the hilly areas behind the Tughalaqabad Fort, but had spread rapidly as small LPG cylinders kept in the shacks started exploding.
DFS chief Atul Garg said the fire took place around 12.50am and was doused around 3.30am after evacuating the residents from the area. Fire officers say that it took them nearly half an hour to properly begin the fire-fighting operations since the road leading to the camp was steep and narrow.
“It was encroached upon by shops and scrap dealers from nearby slums. We had to physically remove them before entering the area,” said a fire officer.
The camp, mostly comprising people from West Bengal who are employed as domestic help in the area. Locals claimed that there were about 1,500 shanties built using plywood and plastic sheds in the past few years that were gutted. They alleged a conspiracy behind regular incidents of fire to dislodge them from the area since the shanties were built on government land on the ridge area.
Fire officers, however, said that there were around 250 shanties closely packed due to which the fire had spread quickly. An initial probe suggests that the fire broke out of an electric pole and fell on polythene sheets of a shack due to which it caught fire. A police case has been registered under sections of damage due to fire and an inquiry has been initiated.
Government announces relief
Delhi government on Tuesday announced Rs 25,000 ex-gratia for the residents of a transit camp in Tughlaqabad, which was gutted on Tuesday morning.

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