Immediate relief fund released for fire victims of MMC Shopping Complex
62 shops completely razed
MOKOKCHUNG — The MMC Shopping Complex in Mokokchung, which is one of the important trade points for Mokokchung was engulfed by a devastating fire, razing down 62 shops completely and severely damaging 73 other shops on Feb. 3 evening.
Following the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Mokokchung, Thsuvisie Phoji, convened an emergency meeting on Sunday to take stock of the situation.
The meeting was attended by state advisor for Sericulture and Minority Affairs, Imkongmar and civil society organisations including the Ao Senden, Watsü Mungdang, Ao Kaketshir Mungdang (AKM), All Ward Union Mokokchung Town (AWUMT), Mokokchung Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and relevant authorities including the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF)and district police.
During the meeting, advisor Imkongmar stated that the shopping complex not only belongs to the people of Mokokchung but is also government property, and as such, he gave the assurance that the government will address the grievances at the earliest. Additionally, the Ao MLAs are also deliberating on how they can assist and mitigate the situation, he said.
The DC announced the release of INR 10,000 each as immediate relief fund for all the 62 shops that were completely damaged. An amount of INR 5,000 each will be given for the 73 shops that were severely damaged. He added that an assessment of the partially damaged shops is under process.
Phoji lauded the fire fighters, SDRF, Police, 12 Assam Rifles, civil society organisations and volunteers from 18 wards who stood together during those desperate hours, as well as individuals who came forward and opened up their private water reservoirs to douse the fire.
SDPO Mokokchung Tizhi Pojar also informed that case registration is underway and security personnel have been deployed 24X7 in the vicinity of shopping complex to maintain law and order and prevent looting, ransacking, etc.
Further, the AKM president proposed a crowd-funding initiative for the victims and the DC Mokokchung directed the AKM to start the initiative.
MCCI President, Tsukti Longkumer suggested that the administration intervene and secure a ‘grace period’ for those victims who have taken loans from banks and suffered losses because of the fire. He also suggested rehabilitation of the shops to another location at the earliest.
The Ao Senden stated that the unfortunate incident has dealt a blow to the dedicated local entrepreneurs and appealed to the Government to compensate the entrepreneurs in the best possible way.
Representatives from the AWUMT, Watsü Mungdang, SDRF and Fire and Emergency Services also spoke at the meeting, after which the advisor visited the incident site to take stock of the situation.
ADC and Administrator of MMC, Chumlamo Humtsoe, issued a notice informing that certain areas of the complex, including RG Block, footwear and first floor shops No. 17-42 would remain closed till technical assessment on the structural safety of the building is carried out.
MCCI seeks immediate rehabilitation measures
Meanwhile, the MCCI submitted a petition to the Mokokchung DC on behalf of over 120 businesses affected by the fire. Among others, it asked the DC to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the fire and make the findings public.
Provide immediate relief and financial assistance to the affected traders, it said, while proposing collaboration with the MCCI and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive compensation plan, ensuring fair and timely reimbursement for losses incurred.
It also asked the DC to prioritise and initiate immediate rehabilitation measures for the affected traders, including but not limited to temporary relocation assistance to help them resume business operations as soon as possible, financial aid to support them in rebuilding their livelihoods, and setting up a streamlined processes for obtaining necessary permits and licenses to facilitate business continuity.
Further, it requested the DC to implement stringent fire safety measures across the district to prevent similar tragedies in the future.