JORHAT, March 3: Assam Housing and Urban Affairs minister Ashok Singhal, on Friday, inspected the Chowk Bazar fire incident site here.
It may be mentioned here that the over century-old market, beside the AT Road in the heart of the town, was gutted in a devastating fire on February 16 night in which over 300 shops were completely gutted.
Singhal told the media that he had come here as per direction of the chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take stock of the situation arising out of the fire that had affected a large number of shopkeepers and to hold discussion with the district administration and the Jorhat MLA Hitendra Nath Goswami regarding ways to provide rehabilitation to the affected traders.
Singhal said that he will apprise the chief minister on the matter so that whatever needful could be done in this regard could be initiated by the government.
Replying to a query, the minister said that he was informed by the district administration and the local MLA that an alternative site to provide temporary accommodation to fire-affected shopkeepers has been selected, and after holding talks with the fire-hit people, construction work was expected to start by district administration and Jorhat Municipal Board for setting up an accommodation to them (shopkeepers).
It may be mentioned here that the Jorhat deputy commissioner Pulak Mahanta after the fire has formed a 10-member group to find out a site for temporary accommodation of the fire-affected shop owners.
He said after providing temporary accommodation to the shopkeepers at the alternative site, cleaning up of Chowk Bazar site would be undertaken and the government would thereafter decide about the future plan of Chowk Bazar.
The minister replying to another query said that some kind of compensation may be provided to fire-affected shopkeepers and was informed by Jorhat MLA that work in this regard was underway.
Singhal earlier reviewed the projects and schemes of two departments under him with senior officials at the Circuit House here.
Meanwhile, the Jorhat Municipal Board (JMB) has started cleaning of the streets in municipal areas during night from Wednesday in a bid to keep the town clean.
A district administration official informed that the JMB has undertaken the night cleaning service by workers of the civic body as per the call given the Jorhat deputy commissioner.
The official stated that the initiative has been carried out from 8:00 pm onwards at areas of Garali, AT Road, KB Road and adjacent localities.