Monday, March 12, 2007

Fire at Hapoli Market

The year has not even completed its first quarter than this Apatani Plateau witnessed another fire accident (3rd in these three months) devastating 6 houses at the heart of Hapoli Township.

Friday the 9th, time around 2215 hrs

It was just after 2200 hrs; I had finished watching the programme “The Great Indian Laughter Champions-Dwitiya” on Star One and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard commotion outside. I thought, what’s this commotion about at this odd hour, when people usually are in deep slumber. I looked out through my window.

“Oh! My God, it’s F-I-R-E”, I shouted. Looking at the flames through my window, it appeared that the entire market area was engulfed by fire.

I rushed out to the main road and found that the people were rushing towards Club Road. I too ran along with them to see if I could be of any help in containing the fire or helping the people and their belongings to be shifted to a safer place. Lots of people had gathered there and were trying to contain the fire by putting water. Some were helping the people shift their belongings to a safer place. But ironically, no fire fighters from fire department were seen. The people were frantically trying to contain the fire but with the housing arrangement the market area of Hapoli Township has, the fire was spreading like wild fire and it was almost certain that without the help of fire fighters from fire department, the fire would wipe out the entire market area.

Finally, though after much delay and to the relief of people the fire fighters arrived and the fire was able to be contained and doused by 1.30 a.m. the next day. The devastation-6 houses completely gutted and several others partially damaged to contain the fire. Luckily no human casualty was there.

I returned home wondering-wouldn’t the damage been less had the township been planned properly with proper guidelines for construction of commercial or residential buildings? Had the fire fighters arrived in time, wouldn’t the destruction been minimised? Would the public, the politicians and the administrators wake up and ponder over the need to re-structure and re-plan the entire township after these incidents?

Sunday the 11th, time around 1530 hrs

Just after a day of fire accident, people’s effort prevented another fire accident from happening in the market area of Hapoli Township.

It all started with leaking gas at Gupta Sweets but the cautious people were able to contain it before it could become unmanageable and as usual fire fighters arrived just after the fire has been doused.

The devastated houses

Update: Some more pics shot with mob-cam on the night of inferno


  • anonymous_tanii_gal

    Unfortunate as this mishap has been ,I feel the blame probably lies in lack of town planning .Hapoli as such is a very scenic town but its beauty is marred by the overly congested houses built without proper drainage etc .All these typically present a myriad of problems . It takes time and resources for the town to be developed properly and unfortunately the authorities have ignored it completely .The people shrug it off as being just another hazard and life goes on .
    Congratulations to the author of this blog Mr Chobin. It has me hooked and I hope you will keep posting regularly so I can catch up with the latest happenings at Hapoli.

  • AG

    Yes, I do agree with you that lack of proper town planning was one among the factors that led to such devastation in the heart of Hapoli Township.
    And you know what anon.. we group of friends had discussed over the issue of haphazard town planning or rather the unplanned settlement of the township without proper drainage system et. al and during the discussion it was pondered over if I'm a multi-millionaire and offered the residents of township a proposition to offer me their land to re-plan and re-develop the entire township and hand them back the developed township, would they agree? Though the thought was just a hypothesis, but what we concluded keeping in view the mentality and outlook of the people was that no one would be ready to accept the proposition even if ever that would have to happen. Here, what I’m trying to emphasize is that it’s not the authorities alone that is responsible for any development or under development but also the people who should be equally zealous and receptive to the development, be it town planning, basic amenities etc., and shouldn’t always think of personal gain alone but of society as a whole.
    Hope, after these three successive mishaps, people wouldn’t just shrug it off as another hazard but would ponder over how to prevent recurrence of the same or how to minimize the devastation in case of eventuality.
    It would be my endeavor to keep you readers abreast of the latest happenings at Hapoli despite the poor connectivity out here. Hope you would keep reading

  • anon_tani_gal

    Hi Ag,
    Apologises for mistaking the author,it was confusion on my part and unsure about who this blog was authored by .I must say you are both equally impressive writers and definitely doing a very good job at giving this blog a distinct identity and voice .
    As an Apatani I am definitely impressed and proud to see the work you are both doing .I will definitely keep logging into read your posts .

  • AG

    thx for your supportive words anon.. do keep reading.

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