125 shanties gutted at Ayub Nagar
Central Chronicle, 22nd March 2001


BHOPAL MARCH 21: Property worth more than Rs 10 lakh was reportedly gutted and more than 5000 people were rendered homeless following a massive fire which broke out at Atal Ayub Nagar on Wednesday afternoon. More than 30 fire fighters were deployed for controlling the wild fire which engulfed nearly 125 shanties and reduced them to ashes.

The first distress call came to the police control room around 3.10pm about the blazing fire which struck bushes bushes besides the hutments adjacent to the Union Carbide factory but was controlled by the timely arrival of fire brigades.

High winds spread the fire towards the shanties of Atal Ayub Nagar and the entire slum was ablaze when the first firefighter made entry into the settlement.

District officials, police, municipal corporation staff and public struggled endlessly to control the high rising flames engulfing everything coming in its way. The aggrieved families panicked trying to save their family members and friends. The trauma situation continued for almost two hours before the situation could be controlled at around 5pm.

Although no loss of life has been reported in the incident but loss of property is estimated to be high. District officials are trying to assess the losses of residents of the illegal settlement.

The efforts of the district administration continued till late in the evening when the officials were seen distributing relief material to the residents who lost their household property and were left in a single dress asset on them.

The district officials informed that the fire started through some sort of accident leading to the dry bushes catching fire. The high winds in the area added fuel to fire and the entire open area was burnt along with the slums of Atal Ayub Nagar.

Minorities minister Arif Aqueel, collector SK Vashisht, ADM MB Ojha, SP Arun Pratap Singh, SDM Bhopal MR Khan and other officials immediately rushed to the spot and helped in rescue operations.