Why The Bagri Market Fire Shouldn’t Come As a Surprise To Kolkatans. The Dark Legacy of Market Fires in Kolkata

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That Kolkata’s markets have a dark legacy of catching fire is nothing new.
Rather it should not be a surprise not only when it comes to our heritage markets but in many other aspects as well!

Take any of the poshest restaurants at Park Street or the busiest of offices at Dalhousie for instance, no one really raise the inconvenient questions which is considered basic in other parts of the world rather country.

  • Is there a valid fire mitigration plan?
  • Is there a fire relief drill?
  • Do all electrical wiring meet the required safety norms?
    We don’t really raise these questions,do we?

Because: ‘sab chalta hai bhai’! 

Don’t believe us?

Take a walk down Chandni Market anyday and instead of being lured by the attractive gadgets on display along the pavement, raise your head once to look up at the plathora of dangerously tangled wires at the poles and if that doesn’t make you skip a beat then visit the narrow lanes of Bara Bazar someday, it’s sure going to want to make you GTFO! 

But hey, why take our word for it? Here’s a list of markets in Kolkata that succumbed to flames and still miraculously operate even today!

As we were penning this piece we got news that Balaram Mullick,Jaggu Bazar caught fire.

Satyanarayan Park AC Market

The market caught fire on April 23rd,2013 at 4:45am.
The blaze was on for 15 continuous hours and even 20 fire engines couldn’t bring the fire under control even after completing 40 trips. The cause of fire was unknown. Temperature inside the building was above 500 degrees.

New Market Fire

After a part of new market was brought down by a devastating blaze on December 13, 1985, the market again caught fire on July 20, 2011

Chandni Market Fire

A devastating fire broke out in Chandni Market on May 27, 2008, resulting in a loss of few crores. The fire raged for 12 hours. No one took the initiative to clear the adhesives, foam, kerosene and the exposed wires made it more dangerous.
Reportedly, none of the stall owners or vendors had a fire license.

Bagri Market Fire

On September 16, 2018, a massive fire broke out at the biggest wholesale market of Kolkata. The disaster happened at 2.30am. 30 fire engines are at rescue. 24-28 hours were needed to control the blaze, reportedly.

 

The simple questions that comes up however is a few simple questions that come up are:

Who is responsible for these fires?
What can I do to stop them?
What is the government doing to prevent these massacre?

Answering them ain’t that easy right?

As it stands, the majority of facilities, places, services in Kolkata are just being carried on as passed to us by the British, so the only we have is

Because: ‘sab chalta hai bhai’! 

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