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Year on, Uri fire victims await relief

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Feb 25: One year has passed since deadly blaze destroyed 50 structures in border town of Uri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district but not a single victim has yet received any compensation from the district administration.
The traders are aghast over what they call the “callous attitude” of the administration. General Secretary Traders Federation Uri (TFU) Qayoom Chalkoo said the district administration has failed to provide compensation despite a number of assurances.
“After the fire incident, the administration visited us and assured that everybody would be given the compensation for the losses they suffered,” said Chalkoo, adding “it is very unfortunate that one year has passed but the traders and shopkeepers are yet to receive any compensation.”
Chalkoo said: “Leave the compensation; the traders who lost their business to the devastating fire were not even rehabilitated. As the administration has failed to provide the compensation, the traders  are on the verge of starvation”
Farooq Ahmad Mir, a trader in the town, said: “I brought new grocery items worth lakhs of rupees after I lost my shop to the devastating fire. But till date we have not received any compensation.” Besides 50 shops that were gutted in the devastating fire, there were a few godowns, textiles and medical shops which too faced the blaze. Khawaja News Agency- the only news agency in Uri was also damaged in the fire incident.
Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Nasir Ahmad Naqash told Excelsior that they have already taken up the matter with the Government. “In case of commercial losses, the victims are paid a special package from Chief Minister Relief Fund but so far we have not received it,” he added.


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