CORRESPONDENT MOREH, 8th Feb:
Hours after a devastating fire at Namphalong market, on the Myanmar territory, destroyed goods and household properties estimated to worth about Rs 40 crore, chief minister of Myanmar’s Sagaing Region, Dr Myint Nai and RK Shivachandra, who is convener of Operationalization of Act East Policy, Government of Manipur, jointly assessed damages caused to shops, warehouses and private houses on Thursday.
The fire, which started around 5.40 pm Wednesday allegedly from a firecracker store in Namphalong market, reduced to cinders a total of 53 shops and warehouses as well as six houses.
Even as Dr Myint confided that he received intimation from RK Shivachandra for a joint survey of the quantum of devastation caused to the market place, the latter informed newspersons on the sidelines of the inspection that the government of Manipur will be urged to extend all possible assistance to the Myanmarese authorities in repairing the market.
While stating that Namphalong market has been an important source of livelihood for small-time as well as established traders of Manipur, Shivachandra opined that the government of Manipur will do wonder in strengthening the centuries-old relationship with the immediate international neighbour in the form of helping rebuild the market place.
He also said that Indian ambassador in Yangon would be urged to convey the ministry of external affairs for extending help to the Myanmar government in the reconstruction of the market.
On the other-hand, Dr Myint Nai applauded the efforts of Moreh fire sub-station personnel in putting out the inferno and Assam Rifles and Moreh police for preventing theft case.
Meanwhile, Tengnoupal MLA D Korungthang expressed sadness over the loss suffered by traders of Namphalong market and inconvenience caused to the public.
According to a statement issued by PRO IGAR (S), troops of 11 Assam Rifles, Moreh police, commandos and civil administration of Moreh assisted in controlling the fire shortly after the fire broke out from the firecracker warehouse. Commandant of 11 Assam Rifles helped in synchronising the efforts of police, fire services, civil administration of Moreh and Myanmar Army and two fire tenders from Moreh.
Two water bowsers of 11 Assam Rifles were also stationed at Gate Number 2, to respond to any eventuality of the fire spreading towards Moreh. The fire was brought under control at about 2.30 am Thursday after a struggle by 7-8 fire tenders from Myanmar and five fire tenders from India.
Since the fire was raging fiercely, fire tenders from Imphal and other areas were also called in, which arrived at Moreh at about 1.40 am and immediately jumped into service.
On Thursday, Colonel Zubin Bhatnagar, officiating commander of 26 Sector Assam Rifles visited the site and met CO of 89 IR of Myanmar Army and assured all required assistance. CO 89 IR thanked the officiating commander for the timely help provided by Assam Rifles and civil administration of Moreh.