Fire kicks 30,000 out of businesses

LAHORE:More than 12 persons, mostly security guards, are still missing whereas over 30,000 persons associated with the business in Shah Alam Market have lost their jobs owing to Monday’s massive fire eruption.The Fire Fighters of Rescue 1122, Civil Aviation and City District Government have extinguished 95 per cent fire while the lower portion of plazas was still under fire till filing of this report.According to preliminary report prepared by the authorities concerned,the estimated loss amounts to Rs 5 billion.Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has assured the PML-N led provincial government of his complete cooperation pledging the victims would be compensated.He has also directed the authorities to report him within two days in this regard.Insiders claimed the fire erupted in a godown of chemicals at Bahria Centre, around 8 am and spread out to adjoining buildings including Safaid Masjid, eight commercial plazas as well as the residential buildings. They further said the elements like chemicals, perfumes; toys, plastic manufacturing materials and other inflamables etc worth tens of millions of rupees were gutted.‘The reason of fire eruption was short circuiting’, they said.The traders including Shahid Bilal, Anjum Butt and Khawaja Amir have blamed WAPDA for negligence as they have been deprived of from their livelihood. ‘Everything has been destroyed by fire. We have always paid tax but no arrangement was observed in the area’, they added.Some other traders including Muhammad Qaisar, Islam, Ramazan, Ijaz, Sheikh Kaleem, Haneef and others have turned the incident as doomsday for them.They said over 30,000 people were associated with the business in affected area comprising on 1.5 kanal but now they have nothing to feed to their offspring.As per initial report prepared by the local traders over 300 shops located in eight commercial plazas in Mochi Gate, the densely populated commercial area, have been entirely gutted.Dozens of security guards including Kamal, Zahir Khan, Shamsheer Khan, Ibraheem Khan, Riasat are still missing – Nation