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Co-operative market fire: PTI announces rehabilitation of victims

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has announced compensation for the victims and rehabilitation of the victims. (Photo Online)

Incidents of fire in different markets have been happening continuously in Karachi for the last several days, however, the incident of fire in different areas started from 14th November at the Cooperative Market whose cause has not been revealed yet.

Political parties are trying to reach out to the victims after the fire at the cooperative market where the traders suffered heavy financial losses. However, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has announced compensation for the victims and rehabilitation of the victims.

Incident of fire

A fire broke out in the cooperative market at Regal Chowk in the Saddar area last Sunday, which engulfed several shops, declaring the fire as third degree, fire tenders were called from all over the city.

Due to the severity of the fire, some shopkeepers shifted their valuables to a safe place but the traders alleged that the fire brigade arrived late and kept contacting the police and fire brigade for help but no contact was made. Allegedly, it was too late when the contact was made, and by the time the fire brigade arrived, the fire had spread throughout the building.

Estimated loss

Traders state that 600 shops have been affected by the fire in the cooperative market, while serious circles have termed the cooperative market fire as the second major accident after the Baldia Town tragedy. There are 180 shops and offices, 98 percent of the ground floor and 80 percent of the first floor have been burnt and traders have estimated the loss at Rs 5-10 billion.

Incident case

The case was registered at Preedy Police Quarters. The plaintiff who is President of Cooperative Market Society named Sheikh Mohammad Feroze took a stand in his application that the building’s janitor Zahir Khan reported smoke rising from the first floor. When he reached the market, a fire broke out on the ground floor and the first floor. The watchman said that the builder had called the team of K-electric which had returned after working at 4 o’clock. It is feared that someone deliberately set fire in the market.

How did the fire start? 

The shopkeepers said that they have been doing business in the market for 50 years, the electric staff was working at one o’clock on Sunday afternoon and after their departure, between about 3 and 4 o’clock, light smoke rose on the first floor of the market and the fire engulfed the entire market from five to five and a half hours.

Cooperative market traders said the builder had not completed the building since 1990. There was also a dispute over parking in the building. Traders said there was no possibility of a fire in the entire market in 10 minutes. The fire was started by adding chemicals. Commissioner Karachi had also said that there were reports of an explosion before the incident but the real facts would come to light only after an investigation.

Government of Sindh

Provincial Minister for Industry and Trade and Department of Mutual Aid Jam Ikramullah Dharijo said that the Sindh government is with the losses of traders affected by the fire in Saddar Cooperative Market. A committee was formed to assess their losses and find out the cause of the fire and as soon as its report is received, their problems will be resolved on a priority basis, while the traders had given an ultimatum to the government not to cause any damage. If done, the President’s markets and streets will be closed in protest.

PTI announcement

The people of Karachi won the last general election by a landslide and the PTI representatives, fulfilling the trust of the people of Karachi, have announced relief to the victims and complete rehabilitation of the market.

PTI Karachi President Warkan Sindh Assembly Khurram Sherzaman demanded from the Sindh government to compensate the shopkeepers, however, National Assembly member Aftab Siddiqui has taken a step further and made the revival of the cooperative market a top priority.

He said that business will start in the cooperative market in 10 to 12 days. After the restoration of the market, the affected people will get money from the Sindh government and will also get business insurance from the Sindh government.

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