Fire breakout in Mandi devastates entire village, renders villagers homeless
There have been about half-a-dozen incidents of such devastation in which entire villages lost everything in fire. Most of these villages could not be saved because either they were not connected through a motorable road or had no nearby fire station or post.
Mandi: In yet another tragic incident of a fire breakout in Himachal Pradesh, the Dahar village in Balichowki of Mandi district, on Monday devastated lives of several families. No casualties were reported.
The incident again exposed the will of government, local administration, and leaders to find alternate methods to deal with fires in rural regions, which are far away from fire stations or lacks road connectivity.
As per the initial reports, the fire devoured about 22 to 25 houses and about 10 cow-sheds in the village. Over 100 villagers lost their houses in the fire. Most of the villagers were not in the village when the fire broke out at afternoon. The villagers could do nothing except watching their homes burning like a mute spectators.
The villagers tried to control the fire. However, they lost hope after initial but insufficient efforts to extinguish it. As per reports, the villagers lacked sufficient water to control the fire.
As usual, the fire brigade could not make it to the village on time due to long distance between the two. By the time the fire brigade reached the village, nothing was left to be saved. Further, the village had no road.
Though the district administration is yet to reveal official details regarding the damage and exact number of houses gutted by the fire, the reports suggested villagers were left homeless and lost most of their belongings.
The administration said it has initiated relief work and is distributing blankets and tents to the people.
The cause of the fire was not identified by the time of writing this report. It was suspected to be a short-circuit in one of the houses.
Surprisingly, there have been about half-a-dozen incidents of such devastation in which entire villages lost everything in fire. Most of these villages could not be saved because either they were not connected through a motorable road or had no nearby fire station or post.
The geography of Himachal Pradesh requires different approach to deal with fire-breakouts. Creating a local water reservoir in or near the villages is least of such initiatives that the administration could take with the co-operation of the villagers.
Sadly, it would be an exploitation of the thick skulls (policy makers) if they were made to work or even asked to think about actually working.
It is obvious why a regular government job is no less than a bliss in India.