Damaged Bridge, traffic jam caused delayed response
By Insha Latief
SRINAGAR: A 22- year-old woman was charred to death when massive fire broke out in Mehjoor Nagar on the banks of flood channel in uptown Srinagar on Tuesday. Dysfunctional Mehjoor Nagar bridge and the authorities failure to set up a diversion was the main cause for delayed response to fire-fighting that resulted into a major tragedy.
The 3-story house Royal Rattan Palace was one of the landmarks in the congested area and was often rented out for parties and functions. Several plays for Doordarshan have been shot in the premises of the house.
Locals said the fire broke out at 12:45 pm and engulfed the house in a shortest span of time. The ill-fated girl was stuck in the bathroom of the house and could not be rescued. Her charred body was later recovered from the burnt house. The girl was identified as Roshni Kaur, daughter of Darshan Singh.
They said that the girl might have failed to raise alarm after suffocation. According to police, the girl had burn injuries on her body.
Officials said, “We couldn’t save her because of the huge fire. Our men tried hard but due to smoke, they couldn’t move further.”
Police investigation to find out the reason of devastating fire is still going on. However according to eye witnesses fire broke out due to explosion of gas cylinder in the house.
Officials of Police station Rajbagh said that the fire lasted for 45 minutes. Two storeys of the palatial house were destroyed in the inferno.
Officials of Fire and Emergency Service said that the Royal Rattan Palace belonged to prominent businessman Darshan Singh. “The property costs almost 2.5 crores that suffered loss of over Rs 60 lakhs due to fire,” they said.
Royal Rattan Palace was reserved for marriages and parties.
Locals of the area said that the fire bridges arrived late which led to more loss of property.
Officials of Fire and Emergency Service said, “When we got news about fire, we immediately send fire bridges from Batmaloo, Barbarshah, Nowgam and we went through Rambagh. There is always traffic jams on the routes which has led to the delay. Moreover people were not giving space us to move and also due to lack of connectivity, we couldn’t take Jawahar Nagar route. That is why the delay took place.”