Reported by Arabinda Birabar Harichandan
Banki, Apr 24:
At least a hundred families are left on the streets after about 200 houses were reduced to ashes in a major fire that broke out around 2 am this morning in Bheda Ramachandrapur village under Banki subdivision in Odisha’s Cuttack district.
Fortunately, there has been no casualty reported in the fire. However, properties which include house hold goods, food grains, jewellery and cash worth lakhs of rupees have been completely destroyed in the fire.
The victims, who are without a roof to protect themselves from the scorching sun, blocked the Banki-Kalapathar road for about an hour and half, demanding government relief and assistance for seven days.
The villagers lifted the blockade after Damapars BDO Prasanta Kumar Rout, tehsildar Jadumani Mahala, Basanta Kumar Rout sub-collector Banki and the local BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy persuaded the villagers to lift the road block while assuring them of providing polythene sheets and relief as per the relief code.
It took four fire engines around four hours to douse the fire that broke out as a consequence of crackers burst by a bridegroom party from Baghamari in Khurda district which was on its way to a bride’s residence in the same village for the marriage ceremony.
Villagers claimed they had asked the bridegroom party not to burst crackers as it was summer and the village which had rows of thatched houses could catch fire. However, those in the bridegroom party refused to listen, the villagers said.
The tehsildar and other government officials have begun the enumeration process in the village while dry food has been provided to the affected families. Arrangements were being made to provide cooked food to the victims, officials said.