Admitting loopholes on many counts, Union Housing and Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the government will look at them only after getting detailed reports, but this is the time to help those affected by the massive fire that engulfed a factory in Delhi's Rani Jhansi Road area, early on Sunday. The Minister, who was the first Union Minister to reach the spot, called the tragedy a "very sad incident", assuring "the government has taken some decisions to develop such unauthorised places". Puri told media that this was not the time to make "political comments".
"People come from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They are our brothers and sisters. They are out citizens. It is not the issue who comes from where. I want to tell on record that we should provide all necessary help to the affected families," Puri said.
Asked over the short circuit, the reason behind the incident and that electricity cables crossing from low heights, the Minister said: "I agree. I was born and brought up in Delhi. What are you saying is true but it is important to get proper information about the incident. Short circuit was the immediate cause."
"We have taken some decisions under which unauthorised places will be developed. At the moment, I don't want to make statement whether it was the fault of industrial or fire department," he said further.
The Minister said that the Delhi Police and fire department received the information about the fire around 5.22 a.m. - almost half an hour after the incident - and they reached the spot in few minutes. Our party MLAs reached the spot soon after getting information, said Puri, adding "we don't want to make political statements at this moment".
At least 43 people, most of them reportedly children in the age group of 14 to 20, were killed and over a dozen others injured in the fire that broke out in the plastic bag and card board manufacturing unit around 5 a.m. due to short circuit.