AURAHI (SIRAHA), May 16: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai visited Aurahi VDC on Wednesday to meet victims of a massive fire that gutted 3,000 houses and sheds. About 1,000 victims have been spending the night in the open and their plight has been made worse by high temperatures and high winds during the day.
Bhattarai, who landed at Auraha by a helicopter inspected the fire-affected area and expressed his sympathies.
Before he flew back to Kathmandu, Bhattarai also instructed the local administration to ensure the victims were provided food and shelter. He also announced Rs 25,000 as immediate relief to each of the family displaced by the fire.
The victims asked Bhattarai to make arrangement for new houses and provide least one fire-truck for their area. They unanimously blamed unavailability of fire engine at Siraha Municipality as the main reason for the widespread devastation.
Bhattarai, accompanied by Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar and Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel also provided relief money to Dinesh Shah who lost his only son in the fire.
Although PM Bhattarai assured the government would consider new houses to the victims after collecting details of the damage, the victims said they need shelter immediately.
"We have food but not shelter," said Chandan Yadav, one of fire victims. "We are forced to live under the sultry sun in the da and we sleep in the open in the night. We are always scared of snake-bites." Yadav said.
After losing their houses, the victims spent Tuesday night under tarpaulin and plastic sheets on rice-field. Even in the scorching heat on Wednesday the victims, including women and children, were awaiting relief with just thin plastic sheets over their heads to shade them from the sun.
Bechan Yadav, who was trying to hang a sari from four bamboo-sticks said, "The heat is intolerable." He said thins were made worse by scorching heat and high wind. He asked the government for make it a priority to provide shelter.
Government agencies, I/NGOs and charitable organizations have provided relief materials, mostly food items, to the victims. However, none of the organizations provided shelter material.
FNCCI relief to Siraha fire victims
KATHMANDU: The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has extended relief material worth Rs 800,000 to victims of fire that raged Subba Aurahi VDC of Siraha district on Tuesday.
“The relief material includes Rs 300,000 worth of readymade garment provided by Garment Association Nepal,” says an FNCCI statement, expressing sorrow over the unfortunate event. The umbrella body of the private sector has also appealed to all its members to make contributions to help the fire victims.