Hyderabad, January 30: Property worth crores of rupees was gutted when a major fire broke out in the ‘Numaish’ or All India Industrial Exhibition at Nampally on Wednesday night. No causalities were reported and two persons, inspector Raj Kumar and a shop keeper Dilawar Hussain, who got suffocated due to smoke, were rushed to a nearby hospital for basic medical aid.
According to eye witnesses, fire started between the stalls of a private bank at around 8.40 pm on Wednesday night. On being alerted about the smoke emanating from the stalls, the authorities disconnected power supply to focus lights and rushed the fire tender, stationed at the Exhibition, to the spot. Some shop keepers alleged that the fire tender had less or no water and it took nearly half-an-hour for other fire tenders and water tankers to reach the location. By the time, fire personnel launched an intense operation at around 9.10 pm, fire had already spread to several stalls.
Nearly 30,000 visitors were present in the Exhibition when the incident occurred. Although the authorities have been accused of delayed response to douse the fire, despite panicky situation and utter chaos, the police personnel and other officials present in the Exhibition managed the situation well and successfully evacuated everyone to safety. Even the inmates of a women’s hostel located in Exhibition Ground premises were safely evacuated. Police forces from other areas too were rushed to the Exhibition Ground which effectively managed crowd at all exit and other important points which ensured zero causalities or injuries.
After almost three years, at about 10.40 pm, the fire was completely extinguished with the help of 19 fire tenders.
Telangana Home Minister Mahmood Ali immediately rushed to the spot to assess the situation. Speaking to media persons, he expressed deep pain over the huge loss of property, but also expressed relief as no one was killed or injured in such a big and unfortunate incident. He said that the State Government would take all measures to provide adequate compensation to the shop keepers who lost their property. He said a team of senior officials, in collaboration with the Exhibition Society, would assess the losses on Thursday and based on their report a compensation package would be announced.
GHMC Mayor Bonthu Rammohan, Commissioner Dana Kishore and other senior officials of State Government also visited the spot and assured that the authorities would help those who suffered losses due to fire.
Congress MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, who also visited the fire incident site, urged the authorities to pay compensation to the traders who lost their property and livelihood due to fire incident.
Meanwhile, MBT Spokesperson Amjed Ullah Khan demanded strict action against the Managing Committee members of Exhibition Society for not taking prior safety measures. He said just to earn more money the AIIES Managing Committee has given permission for 2500 stalls when it was permitted to install only 1500 Stalls risking the lives of the people. He said that it due to negligence of the AIIES that nearly 150 Stalls have been burnt due to which nearly Rs. 50 Crores worth of property has been lost. He demanded that criminal cases should be booked against the Managing Committee members and the Telangana Government should ensure that all property lost should be compensated by AIIES.