CHENNAI: The shopping scene at T Nagar finally warmed up on Sunday with most major outlets resuming sales. However, South Usman Road, where Chennai Silks that was ravaged by fire is, was accessible only to pedestrians and not vehicles.
Apart from the big showrooms, the smaller shops and street shops were also asked to remain closed during the days of fire accident and the first two days of demolition. But even after the reopening of the shops, the footfalls remained low on Sunday where they are expected to be the highest in the week.
Dinesh, store manager of Khazana Jewellers said, “We got the permission to reopen our showroom through the association of shops in Usman Road. But we didn’t have a good reopening today. Earlier, we always had a good rush in our showroom.”
The road stretch from Khazana Jewellers to the Saravana Selvarathnam Textile showroom in Usman Road was sealed off by police since Wednesday morning after fire was first reported in Chennai Silks building.The shops in that stretch and their businesses were suspended for three-and-a-half days.
The demolition work is still staggering with only about 30 per cent completion as access-way still remains only through the rear of the building. However, more equipment has been assembled at the site.
Apart from the four jaw cutter vehicles that were at site, two more were brought and stationed on Pinjala Subramaniam Street today. While Greater Chennai Corporation officials promised that demolition work would be completed in less than three days, reality suggests that it may about a week.
The structural stability of the debris pile that acts as a ramp for the excavators dampened the speed of demolition. The rubble bed which the Corporation formed for elevation, struggled to balance the vehicles.
Through the day, random minor fire was noted within the building. Vehicular movement into residential roads too were eased out on Sunday and employees from larger firms who left for their native places are expected to return on Monday.
Minor blaze in T Nagar three-star hotel
A minor fire broke out in the kitchen of a three-star private hotel on Usman Road in T Nagar on Sunday evening. This is the third fire incident reported in the city in the last one week. “At around 6.10 pm, one of the staff allegedly switched on the gas in the kitchen of BKR Hotel, when the fire broke out. However, the employees of the hotel doused the fire with an extinguisher,” said a police source. A fire tender which was on standby in the same locality rushed to the spot, but the staff managed to douse the fire, before the fire tender came.