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Fallout of barricading: Fire tenders reach late to douse flames at Natipora

From the Left: Authorities blocking roads to Natipora Srinagar on Tuesday; People and firefighters after dousing the fire on Wednesday (Photos: KM/Umar Ganie)

Srinagar: Worst fears of people have come true after the digging of roads and barricading red zones hampered the firefighting operations in the city.

At around 2.30 am on Wednesday, locals called up Rawalpora fire station informing about the fire at Natipora.  Fire tenders immediately rushed to the spot but could not enter the locality as the administration had blocked roads by iron grills.


Fire tenders later called up Nowgam fire station and asked them to reach the spot as they had to take a longer route. By the time the fire control vehicles reached the spot, the house was badly damaged.

“Fire tenders coming from Natipora Chowk could not move because of the iron grills were erected on the road to stop the vehicular movement,” said Abdul Rashid, a resident of Natipora.

He said fire tenders of Nowgam station came from the other end and prevented the fire from spreading. “One house was damaged in the fire,” he said.

Another incident happened in the Noorbagh area on Wednesday afternoon in which three residential houses suffered damage.

On Tuesday, many COVID-19 hotspots were sealed by the administration in Srinagar. These include Chattabal, Bemina, Sakidafar, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Chanapora, and Natipora.

An official of the Fire and Services Department said it took them some time to reach both these spots.

“Due to the barricades, fire tenders faced problems in reaching the spot on time. But headquarters informed Nowgam station and fire tenders reached from other end. Later fire tenders of Rawalpora station also reached from the Nowgam side,” he said.

The official said had there been no barricades, the damages could have been minimized.

Director Fire and Emergency, Bashir Ahmad claimed the fire tenders reached on time.  “There are more fire stations in the city. We informed Batamaloo, Rawalpora and Nowgam stations and all of them reached the spot. Only one house was damaged in the incident,” he added.