Mamata Banerjee on Thursday assurred that food and shelter will be provided to those who suffered losses during the massive fire that broke out in Kolkata’s Bagbazar region on Wednesday.

Making her first visit to the spot, the West Bengal Chief Minister said, “Till the situation was taken control of yesterday, I was in constant touch with the authorities here. Fire station, disaster management team, police, volunteers, they all worked together to bring the fire down.

“After everything came under control, our first responsibility was to arrange food and shelter for you all. The entire area will be cleaned by tomorrow. Then Kolkata Municipal Corporation will build houses for you as they were earlier. Don’t worry about anything”

On Wednesday, at least 24 fire tenders were pressed into service as the blaze engulfed several houses in the slum on Kshirode Vidyavinode Avenue beside the Bagbazar Women’s College near the Chitpore Lock Gate Bridge.

Blasts were heard in the slum which police suspect to be of gas cylinders at the houses on fire, officials said.

There were no reports of any casualty as most of the people were evacuated on time, they said.

The blaze also spread to the adjacent Sarada Mayer Bari as the firefighters escorted the saints out, an officer of the fire department said.

However, massive losses were reported as the almost all the shanties were destroyed by the fire that was brought down at around 10 pm.

Assuring that food and shelter will be provided to all till normalcy is restored, Mamata Banerjee said, “Please don’t worry about anything. I’m giving Mayor and police the responsibility to take care of everything. There’s no need to fear. We will take care of everything.

“We’ll feed all of you till your houses are built. Until then please stay at the Bagbazar Women’s College.”

“We have also snapped electricity supply in the entire area. There are at least 40 families whose houses have been gutted in the fire. A godown of books is also gutted,” PTI had quoted a Kolkata Police officer as saying.

Meanwhile, locals on Wednesday had alleged that firefighters reached the spot at least an hour late, because of which the blaze went out of control.

A couple of police vehicles were vandalised, following which a team of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed to control the irate mob, the officer said.

With PTI inputs