Around 25 shanties were damaged in a fire that broke out in a slum near Nayabad station at Bankra in Howrah on Monday morning.
Police said that around 150 people became homeless and the local panchayat is taking necessary steps for their rehabilitation.
On Monday morning around 11 am an overhead electric wire stripped and fell on the bamboo structure of a shanty. Officers from the state fire and emergency services department suspect that it could be the reason behind the fire.
The fire spread rapidly and damaged almost all the shanties. The residents ran out of their houses to save their lives and it was not possible for them to take out their valuables. The fire spread as the shanties were packed with inflammable materials.
Local people tried their best to douse the flames before the fire -fighters reached the spot. The situation turned worse as fire-fighters failed to reach up to the spot as the roads were too narrow.
Two fire tenders were pressed into service initially. But fire-fighters had to run to reach the spot leaving the fire tenders at a point. The fire fighters joined the local people in the work to douse the flames.
Water was fetched from wells in nearby houses and factories. The fire was extinguished after around three hours. The slum is situated just beside railway tracks. Thus there is only one narrow lane to enter the place where the fire broke out.
The area falls under the jurisdiction of Bankra II panchayat. Officials from the panchayat immediately rushed to the spot. They distributed tarpaulins, food and blanket to the affected people.
They also assured the homeless people that rehabilitation work will be initiated once the debris is removed. Senior officials of the district will visit the spot on Tuesday.