Thousands render homeless after Kolkata fire guts 100 shanties

Over a thousand people were rendered homeless after at least 100 shanties were gutted in a major fire at Kaliakapur in the eastern part Kolkata on Sunday evening but there were no reports of casualties, officials said.

Sixteen fire tenders were rushed to the spot on EM Bypass to put off the blaze, who finally brought it under control in about two hours, they said.

Fire brigade personnel had a tough time as the flames were spreading fast fanned by strong winds, fire brigade officials said.

Some people were reported missing, but locals along with police traced them from neighbouring areas, West Bengal urban development minister Firhad Hakim said.

Disaster management minister, Javed Khan said there was no report of any casualty or major injury.

As per rule, inquiries would be conducted by both the Fire Services Department and police, Khan said.

Hakim said that only a few received minor injuries. Power was disconnected in the entire slum area and adjacent places as the residents came out of their shelters in panic.

As a result, vehicular movement on E M Bypass came to a standstill for hours causing a huge traffic snarl, police said.

Both the ministers said the affected people were provided with temporary shelters, food and clothing.

They also assured the affected families proper rehabilitation in consultation with the local councillor.

“On the advice of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, we have decided to bring the affected people under a rehabilitation package and those appearing in Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examination will be provided with books and other reading materials,” Hakim added.