Khada village of Palata Rural Municipality that was destroyed by fire.
Villagers left under open sky
KALIKOT, Dec 25: A massive fire that broke out Sunday night gutted 87 houses in Khada village of Palata Rural Municipality. Seven persons were injured
The fire has forced a large number of people out of their homes and under the open sky. According to police, the fire broke out at around 10 p.m. on Sunday, reducing the entire village to ashes in no time.
The smoke and fumes from the fire has made it difficult for people to breathe.
As Khada suffers from an acute shortage of water, dousing the fire was a challenge. A large number of cattle also perished .
Following the fire devastation, 540 villagers are now bracing themselves for life under the open sky. Dropping temperatures have added to their woe. The local administration estimates that the fire has gutted property worth Rs. 30 million. As the houses had hay and straw on top, it took no time for the fire to spread .
There were altogether 179 households in Khada . The fire, which erupted from the house of Nabin Neupane, engulfed 86 other houses .
Chief District Officer (CDO) Chandra Bahadur Karki informed that the province government has been sending relief materials for the villagers. A team from the police and armed police and locals helped put out the fire.
Even though most of the people managed to escape injury in the fire, seven of them were not so lucky. One of the injured, Chandrarupa Sanjyal, is in a critical condition, according to police. Preparations are underway to take him to Nepalguj by helicopter for treatment.Relief for victims
Dambar Bahadur Shahi, chairperson of Sanni Triveni Rural Municipality, has offered Rs. 200,000 for the victims on behalf of the municipality office. Meanwhile, Kalikot Chamber of Commerce and Industry has started a campaign at district headquarters Manma to collect relief for the fire victims .
As most youths in Kalikot are working abroad, there are not enough people to help collect relief materials.
Dandevi Neupane, vice chairperson of Palata Rural Municipality, stated that the affected locals have nothing more than two changes of clothes left.
"We have no warm clothes to wear and no food to eat," said Vice-chairperson Neupane, adding," We are wondering how we will survive this winter."
Devendra Malla, acting chief of DPO Kalikot, informed that a team of 16 police officers led by chief of Pachaljharna Police Station Pushpa Kadayat was deployed to bring the fire under control.
According to Malla, locals could not contact police on time due to a poor communications network. It took four hours for police to reach the site.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. But it is speculated that the first house caught fire when locals were warming themselves around a fire to escape the cold.
Likewise, Karnali Province has provided relief materials for the immediate use of the victims. Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi has urged the Ministry for Internal Affairs and Law to provide Rs.20,000 to each victim along with clothes and food , informed Khem Bahadur Singh, personal secretary of the chief minister .