CM sparks big row with ‘small’ shanty fire remark

It took 18 fire tenders and scores of firefighters over three hours to douse the flames that gutted 700 shanties spread over six acres at Maheshtala in Kolkata's outskirts on Saturday morning, but Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not find the incident big enough.

On a day when the Chief Minister handed over cheques to the families of the victims of Surya Sen market fire in which over 20 people lost their lives and flagged off new fire tenders, she triggered a row by terming the Maheshtala slum fire as a "small one". "We will build houses for those whose homes were gutted in the fire," she said and added that she has asked Fire Services Minister Javed Khan to arrange for rehabilitation of the affected people.

Khan, who visited the spot, said that he heard the complaints from the people and would submit a report to the Chief Minister. "Arrangements will be made for rehabilitation, food and water for the dwellers," he said.


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