KARACHI - As the fire incident at the Timber Market is being politicised, various affected families remain displaced, whereas the Market association has rejected claims by Fire Brigade department.       

On Monday, Association of Timber Market held a press conference along with senior officials of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) at a camp office. During the press conference Yousuf Somroo, president Timber Merchant group notified that timber trader have faced a loss of around Rs3b.

He repeated the claim that if the fire brigade’s vehicle had reached on time, the loss could have been minimised. “The fire brigade department has totally failed,” he added. He said they requested the federal and Sindh governments to compensate the shopkeepers who are tax payers. He demanded to privatise the Fire Brigade Department if the authorities failed to maintain it.

To a query, Yousuf Soomro said that timber market traders had not ensured the market, while documentation of the market has been gutted. He asked all political parties to avoid playing politics on the issue and help hundreds of shopkeepers and residents of the market.

Former president of timber merchant’s group Abdul Aziz Yaqub informed the media that under the observation of KCCI and senior businessman Siraj Kassam Teli, we have formed a committee, which properly assisted the lost and pushed the government to release grants as soon as possible.

On Sunday, at least 250 shops, 18 different residents buildings, 42 apartments, timber compounds namely Pelo compound, all were reduced to ashes. The adjacent streets including Gazdarabad and Somroo streets are also badly affected.

Although the fire did not touch the big timber’s compounds located at Somroo Gali but small shopkeepers have lost all their belonging.

Political parties and rescue workers have established their camps.

On the other side, all affected families have been displaced as they look for shelter at family houses and Mosques.

Anwar Ali, an affected trader, was of the view that the political leaders are just playing blame games, “they don’t have interest in the relief of affected traders and families who lost everything in the incident.”  He added that dowry of his two daughters was lost in the fire but the leaders were busy in settling scoring. “If these people are sincere with us, they should do something concrete, instead of roaming” he said.

Other affected people frequently blaming to the fire Brigade Department and said that it is their responsibility as several vehicles, the untrained staff had failed to douse the fire.

The civic authorities and government has totally failed to make rescue operation successful. The affected families demanded the government to do something extraordinary for the sake of the city.