Ro­hingya bat­tle the el­e­ments

In 10 days, 2nd fire at Narela; no one in­jured

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - Sid­harth.Bhardwaj@

New Delhi: A day af­ter their six-year-old camp in Kalindi Kunj was de­stroyed in a mas­sive fire, 47 Ro­hingya refugee fam­i­lies — now stay­ing in tem­po­rary tents on an ad­ja­cent plot — are look­ing at an even more un­cer­tain fu­ture.

Bat­tling the swel­ter­ing heat, Mohd Saleem (35) said on Mon­day that the lone hand pump, the only source of clean wa­ter, broke down as too many peo­ple were us­ing it.

“The govern­ment has set up the tent but the heat has been trou­bling us a lot. When we get some respite from the sun, the mosquitoes swarm in as there is a lot of veg­e­ta­tion in the sur­round­ing ar­eas. There are no proper toi­let for the women and the kids and they have to walk some dis­tance for it,” said Saleem, who had shifted to the camp from Myan­mar’s Rakhine with his fam­ily six years ago.

Af­ter work­ing ini­tially as a daily wage labourer, he man­aged to save some money and opened a small gro­cery store near the camp. But the fire has de­stroyed the shop, too. “We still don’t know how the fire started, but it de­stroyed the toi­lets, our houses, a small madarsa and my shop,” Saleem said.

The Delhi govern­ment has pro­vided them with a tem­po­rary roof for five days, and NGOs and peo­ple from the nearby ar­eas have also ex­tended a help­ing hand. In the even­ing, the fam­i­lies cre­ated their sep­a­rate en­clo­sures us­ing bed­sheets do­nated af­ter the in­ci­dent. Food was pro­vided by the neigh­bours and NGOs. But the fam­i­lies don’t know what will be their fate af­ter five days.

“We want to re­ha­bil­i­tate them at the site of the camp. An earth­mover is lev­el­ling the de­bris so that work can be­gin for re­con­struct­ing the houses,” Shak­ilur Rah­man, sec­re­tary of All In­dia Milli Coun­cil, said.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also vis­ited the fam­i­lies and as­sured that they would get new iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pa­pers. A ten­ta­tive list of the in­hab­i­tants is al­ready be­ing made with all nec­es­sary de­tails.

The fam­i­lies are also wor­ried that the kids are missing their classes. “They have lost all books and uni­forms. We want to get back on track as soon as pos­si­ble,” Saleem said.

The po­lice have been de­ployed around the site to pre­vent any un­to­ward in­ci­dent. New Delhi: In the sec­ond in­ci­dent within 10 days, an­other fac­tory caught fire in Narela In­dus­trial area on Mon­day. Around 11 fire ten­ders were sent to the spot to con­trol the blaze.

Fire de­part­ment of­fi­cials re­ceived the in­for­ma­tion at 4.24pm about the ac­ci­dent at PVC man­u­fac­tur­ing unit in Narela. The flames were brought un­der con­trol by 6.05pm, fol­low­ing which cool­ing op­er­a­tions were car­ried out.

A pre­lim­i­nary probe re­vealed that the fire broke out in the third floor of the unit when work was go­ing on. Of­fi­cials sus­pect short cir­cuit to have started the fire that soon spread to the raw ma­te­rial ly­ing nearby.

Po­lice said the work­ers quickly left the premises as the fire was con­tained to the third floor.

A team of foren­sic ex­perts also vis­ited the site to col­lect sam­ples and probe the ex­act cause of fire.

Af­ter the fire de­stroyed their homes, 47 Ro­hingya refugee fam­i­lies, now stay­ing in tem­po­rary tents on an ad­ja­cent plot, see an un­cer­tain fu­ture

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