Siliguri, 14 July
A market complex at Bidhan Road in Siliguri sits in a vulnerable state, prone to fire accidents. The three storied building houses around 30 shops selling items ranging from electronic devices and sweets to shoes. According to the fire department, the market complex has not adopted any fire safety measures.
The building has also been badly damaged during the earthquake on 18 September 2011.
“In our visit we have noticed several loopholes in the building. The most important issue is that the building has no fire safety arrangement. Moreover, we are yet to identify its owner or the secretary of the market complex as the traders refused to tell us. It is a problem for us and we are planning to send the notice again,”  said the Siliguri divisional fire officer, Mr Dipak Kumar Nandy.
He also said another market complex ~ Gauri Sankar Market ~ which houses hundreds of shops, also violates the fire safety rules.
A fire brigade official said it is also up to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) to look into these matters while issuing trade licences. “We held several meetings with the SMC and informed them about these issues. We want the civic body to deal with this," the official added.
The member of mayor-in-council of trade licence, SMC, Mr Deb Sankar Saha, said: “We will look into the matter and take necessary action.”