Omar Inspects gutted Secretariat Block, orders inquiry into the incident
SRINAGAR: At least seventeen government offices were gutted completely after a major fire broke out in premises of the Civil Secretariat Srinagar. Five persons were reportedly injured when they were trying to douse off the flames. Fire also broke out at Hotel Zum Zum, Rambagh Srinagar with five to six rooms damaged completely.Official sources told Global News Service that today morning minutes before the scheduled opening of the secretariat offices, flames and smoke started bulging from the two-storey wooden structure building adjacent to the main building of the Civil Secretariat.According to the officials, the locals after noticing the flames came out of the school building immediately and informed police which rushed to the spot along with fire tenders. The fire was brought under control but not before large scale damage to the building. The building consisting of 17 rooms gutted completely in the fire.The gutted building housed 17 offices which include education department, estates department and medical dispensary. However, the cause of the fire was not ascertained yet.In another similar incident, about five to six rooms were completely damaged after fire broke out at Hotel Zum Zum in Rambagh Srinagar. The fire fighters immediately reached the spot and brought fire under control.Police has registered the cases in both the incidents and started its investigation.Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today rushed from a function at Gulab Bagh to Civil Secretariat to inspect the gutted wooden block housing Higher Education, Cooperative, Technical Education and other offices.Taking first hand appraisal of the fire incident and receiving brief from the top brass administration including Director General Fire Services, G M Bhat, Chief Minister gave directions for putting in place emergent measures to save the retrieved records and to house the gutted offices.Minister for PHE, Sham Lal Sharma, Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmad Kitchloo, Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B B Vyas, various administrative secretaries and officers besides President and Members of Civil Secretariat Employee’s Union were present on the occasion.
Govt. orders inquiry
Following the fire incident in the premises of Civil Secretariat Srinagar this morning, the Government today ordered an inquiry into the incident to be conducted by Secretary, General Administration Department. The inquiry will be completed within 15 days.Minister of State for Home, Sajad Ahmad Kitchloo inspected the site of fire and personally monitored the rescue and fire extinguishing operation.MLA Langate and President, Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) while expressing his deep concern over the mysterious fire incident that took place in the premises of Civil Secretariat said such incidents can occur at any place and any time. “But the way of dealing with situation by the administration has not only raised several serious questions regarding its efficiency to deal with such odd situations but also exposed the system for its failure in responding as desired by the situation.”He said a conspiracy to bury some important official records cannot be ruled out by those miscreant elements in the administration who can go to any extent and do any damn thing for their vested interests.Engineer Rashid Said that by announcing a holiday for the secretariat offices after the incident, state government has proved that it cannot deal with even minor extra ordinary incidents.The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party has also demanded a high-level probe into the fire incident. “An immediate inquiry by National Investigation Agency and a judicial probe by a sitting judge of Supreme Court should be ordered into the fire.” (GNS)