QKolkata: Bagri Market Ablaze For 48 Hrs, Mamata Fumes & More

Your daily lowdown of all things Kolkata.

4 min read
Fire fighters busy dousing the massive fire at Bagri Market, a wholesale market in Kolkata.

1. 200 Firemen Battle For Over 48 Hrs To Tame Bagri Flames

Tired firemen fought a cat-and-mouse game with the blaze at Bagri Market through Monday, their failure to tame it 48 hours after it started putting a question mark on the building’s structural stability and stretching the estimated loss for traders upwards of Rs 200 crore.

A combination of factors, including the stockpiled inflammable materials and the blocked access to several corners of the six-decade-old building, meant that the flames stayed a step ahead of frustrated fire-fighters. It also started evoking unflattering comparisons with the 2008 Nandaram Market fire, which took more than a hundred hours to tame.

(Source: The Times Of India)

2. Mamata Upset Over Irregularities in Bagri Market, Calls for Detailed Report

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a 13-day tour of Germany and Italy, was briefed by a Group of Ministers on the Bagri Market fire on Monday. The CM was upset with the irregularities in the market and called for a detailed report by Wednesday.

“I am not against business but I was told that even the staircases and bathrooms (in Bagri Market) were sold. There was no space for the movement of vehicles. How can they ignore (fire) safety measures like this? This is not business, ” a visibly angry Banerjee told reporters in Frankfurt on Monday.

The chief minister’s reaction, sources said, is indicative that the police and fire department may initiate legal action against the owners for negligence. The owners could not be reached for comment

(Source: The Times Of India)

3. Smoke Rings Health Alarm

Thick smoke billowing out of Bagri Market poses a health risk in the entire neighbourhood and beyond, till almost Central Avenue, residents alleged on Monday.

Irfan Ghani, a trader in his late 40s, lives in a fourth-floor flat in Mehta Building, the building opposite Bagri Market. His 15-year-old son has fallen sick because of the smoke, he said. "He is coughing constantly and has slight fever. I will take him to a doctor tomorrow."

A handful of families that live on the fourth and fifth floors of Mehta Building have kept their windows shut since yesterday, despite the building being without electricity from the same time.

Several residents complained of cough, irritation in the eyes and respiratory problems.

(Source: The Telegraph)

4. Samaritans Turn Up With Food, Water

Calcuttans, from college students to men who pray at the Saifee mosque near Bagri Market, stood up as one to lend a hand in the firefight.

Groups of people were seen on Monday bringing in bottles of packaged drinking water, tea and biscuits for cops, fire officers and workers trying to salvage whatever is left of their owners' shops.

Cops had cordoned off the area in front of Bagri Market but the barriers were removed the moment someone arrived with water or biscuits.

In the afternoon as the flames suddenly leapt out of the building's second floor, adjacent to Amratala Lane, a group of men in white kurta and pyjamas walked in with lunchboxes that had piping hot khichri with spoons and water bottles.

(Source: The Telegraph)

5. New Roads Set To Miss Deadline

The two roads linking Alipore with New Alipore being built 500 metres apart to the east of the fallen Majerhat bridge is unlikely to be ready by Mahalaya, which falls on 8 October – the deadline set by the government.

Two railway level crossings would have to be set up and that is likely to take time.

The proposed roads would cut through a thicket, the Chetla canal and two pairs of railway tracks to create a southward extension of Alipore Avenue till Humayun Kabir Sarani in New Alipore. The railways would have to relocate several signal posts for the new roads.

The state government had written to the railways explaining this but the general manager of Eastern Railway, Harindra Rao, is yet to reply, an official said. "We will have to take inputs from the civil engineering, signalling and electrical departments before we can go ahead," said the official.

(Source: The Telegraph)

6. Cops Hurt In Clash, 4 Held

A clash broke out between members of two clubs over a football match in Sahid Smriti Colony off the Bypass in Panchasayar on Sunday night.

A police van and a private car were set on fire and at least seven cops were injured, police said.

The clash broke out around 10pm when members of "Talent Group" and "Lokenath Mandir" picked a fight over a football match between the two clubs, the police said.

"They picked a fight over the outcome of the match. It started with fists and blows and snowballed into glass bottles flying as missiles. Fortunately, there were no major injuries," an officer of Panchasayar police station said.

(Source: The Telegraph)

7. Star Blackout: Manthan Subscribers Set To Miss India-Pakistan Match

More than 200,000 cable TV viewers in Kolkata — subscribers of MSO Manthan — are set to miss the India-Pakistan Asia Cup encounter on Wednesday. The arch-rivals are set to cross swords after a 15-month gap. With Star TV having withdrawn its channels from Manthan’s platform on 23 August due to a payment default, a sizeable section of cricket-lovers will miss the thrilling contest.

Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD channels are beaming the Asia Cup live. These are among the 38 channels of the network that have been blocked on Manthan. The blackout came after a cheque of Rs 3.5 crore issued by Manthan allegedly bounced. It is the second major channel blackout on Manthan since June when Sony TV had withdrawn its channels from the platform for a week while the FIFA World Cup was on.

(Source: The Times Of India)

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