Faridabad: A day after a huge fire erupted at a cracker market on the Dussehra ground in Faridabad, the fire station officer has now been suspended. 5 people have been injured and over 200 makeshift stalls and 20 vehicles have been burnt. Police authorities have said that the fire is now under control and the cause of the fire is being investigated.
The ground on Tuesday was a scene of utter chaos with people gathered at gutted stalls that were still unsafe as there was smoke billowing out of them and firecrackers lying around. There were kids trying to see if any cracker was left for them to pick up, there were men and women working with magnets to collect iron that they could sell, there were tenthouse workers who were taking off the remains of the tents that they had put up and there were a few news channel OB vans.
But no security, no police, no MLA, no minister. It was people and the ground left on its own.
The vendors also said that there were no fire safety measures in place. When asked why they put up the shops without ensuring that the safety measures were in place, Gaurav said, "We pay for safety measures when we get licences for these shops. But when we go to the police asking why safety measures are not in place, they will take all our time and energy in hundreds of useless verifications. We never get our answers. We have to set up our shops. Business toh karna hi hai (We have to run a business)!"
The vendors also claimed that the first fire tender reached the spot only an hour after the incident and by that time, the whole marked was totally destroyed. They said that it was the locals who came to their rescue.
But the firecracker business has gone up in flames just two days before Diwali. While questions remain as to who really is responsible for the huge loss, it will take time before the vendors pick up the pieces and get their lives back to normal. The blame game for now is still on even as vendors await compensation.