HYDERABAD: From infants to senior citizens, close to 200 people were left without shelter after a major fire, caused by a short circuit, broke out in the Mala Kunta slum outside Nampally Exhibition Grounds in the city on Friday.
“An electrical short circuit caused the fire and it spread in a matter of seconds. We just got hold of whatever we could and ran to the other side. We just have our clothes and our children. Everything is gone,” rued P Shathamma, a 60-year-old widow, seated among the charred remains.
Aadhar cards, ration cards, bank-related books and documents, pension cards and certificates of some youngsters are all untraceable now.
The slum dwellers, some of whom had migrated to Hyderabad from Kakinada, Vijayawada, Vizianagaram and other parts of Andhra years ago, are mostly engaged in daily wage labourers. Some also make and sell bamboo items.
See the pictures here: Nampally slum residents in Hyderabad pick up the pieces of their lives after fire
They have also lost a chunk of their savings. One man, according to locals, lost Rs 5 lakh that he had saved.
“All of it got burnt in the fire. He saved it for his child’s wedding,” informed a local.
Fire services arrived in the area 40 minutes after the fire broke out. D Mohan, the ward councillor assured the affected that the 51 damaged will soon be provided with necessary assistance.
“The councillor and the Police Department provided breakfast and a local TDP MLA came forward and also provided lunch.
They opened this gate and asked us to stay in the exhibition grounds in the interim,” informed Sheikh Sardar, a local leader of the slum. However, Express found that there was no shade on the exhibition grounds to protect the people from the elements.