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Monday July 22, 2024

Weekly bazaar fire guts 650 stalls

By Muhammad Anis
July 11, 2024
People gather on the spot after a fire erupted in weekly bazaar in H-9 sector in Islamabad on July 10, 2024. — APP
 People gather on the spot after a fire erupted in weekly bazaar in H-9 sector in Islamabad on July 10, 2024. — APP 

Islamabad:A big fire which broke out in H-9 weekly bazaar gutted 650 stalls causing a loss of millions of rupees to stall holders.

According to details, the fire erupted in the morning which rapidly engulfed a large portion of weekly bazaar, a main hub shopping for residents of Islamabad and foreigners residing in the federal capital. An official of CDA said that 31 fire fighting vehicles and water bowsers took part in the operation along with 250 rescue workers. The operation later was also joined by emergency services of Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Municipal Corporation of Islamabad and other departments.

This is for the third time that a fire destroyed hundreds of stalls in H-9 weekly mainly due to negligence or electricity short-circuiting. Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi taking notice of the fire incident in Islamabad's Sunday Bazaar directed Chairman CDA/Chief Commissioner Islamabad Muhammad Ali Randhawa to reach the spot immediately and utilise all resources to extinguish the fire. Following the Minister's directives, Chairman CDA arrived at the scene and personally supervised the fire control operation. Interior Minister directed that the number of rescue and fire brigade teams be increased and additional resources be deployed to extinguish the fire.

The Interior Minister also sought a report on the fire incident from Chairman CDA/ Chief Commissioner Islamabad and ordered thorough investigation of the incident. An official announcement, however, said that 625 stalls of garments and crockery were totally or partially damaged. There are a total 3200 stalls of fruits, vegetable, garments, shoes, crockery and other household items in this weekly which is opened thrice a week.

" We not only suffered a huge loss due to fire but our business will close for weeks as it will take time to repair damaged stalls and recover from financial loss," a stall watching the fire said. It may be pointed out here that the Additional Director Emergency and Disaster Management Directorate Ammaduddin Muhammad had written a letter to Director Municipal Administration in July, last year in which he pointed out non-existence of fire or any emergency preparedness measures at weekly bazaar in view of repeated fire incidents. However, no action was taken in response to the letter.

In a separate development the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration sprang into action after heavy rains in the federal capital. Waterlogging on roads became a major issue, and in response, district administration officers were on the ground working to manage the situation. Drainage operations are underway, supported by teams from MCI and CDA. Various drains are being closely monitored to prevent flooding.