BATTAGRAM: The local people stormed the tehsil municipal administration offices in Allai to protest the TMA’s alleged failure to send its fire engine to put out the fire that engulfed five shops in the Rashang Bazaar here on Saturday.

The protesters chanted slogans against the TMA and local administration officials, and pelted stones at the municipal building, damaging windowpanes and the fire engine parked inside the premises.

The protesters claimed that when a shop caught fire they called the TMA officials to send the fire engine to help douse the flame, but they refused by answering that it was not working.

They added the blaze gutted five shops, inflicting huge losses on the owners.

When contacted, assistant commissioner Noor Mohammad Afridi, told Dawn that an electricity short-circuit caused the fire in Rashang Bazaar. He said by Friday the TMA’s fire engine was fully operational as it was used to sprinkle chlorine in the bazaar.

He said a departmental inquiry would determine the facts.

The assistant commissioner said he had visited the Rashang Bazaar, assessed the losses and sent a report to the PDMA.

Tehsil municipal officer Abid Hussain told Dawn on contact that till Friday the fire engine was fully functional. He said he had directed the relevant officials to launch an inquiry. He said departmental action would be taken against those responsible.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2021

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