A cluster of shanties situated close to the Brace Bridge railway station were gutted after a fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon, police said. Eight fire tenders were pressed into service who fought struggled for over three hours.
Though no casualties were reported, the cause of the fire and the extent of damage are yet to be ascertained.
The shanties belong to rag pickers, who stack all sorts of items from plastic to papers which are highly combustible. Local people saw smoke coming out of the shanties and they informed fire brigade. The police cordoned off the entire area allowing firemen to douse the flames. Train services along Ballygunge- Budge Budge section were affected for some time. Water had become a problem initially as there are no hydrants or water body near the site. A senior official of the fire and emergency services department said forensic experts would visit the spot on Thursday. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation provided primary relief to the affected people whose belongings were damaged.
Local residents said the shanties built close to the railway track were piling combustible items and despite repeated requests they refuse to stack them at other places.