All credit, no cover leaves affected shop owners in a mess

Tragedy continues to dog the shop owners who have already lost much in the Saturday morning fire near Crawford Market. As most shops did not have an insurance cover and had bought their goods on credit from suppliers, they are now under tremendous pressure to figure out how to pay off their debts and recover from the heavy losses that they have incurred.

Abdul Rauf (extreme right) tries to salvage goods from his burnt-down
shop by carrying them out on a handcart on Saturday morning.
pic/ Nivedita Dargalkar

Arfad Shaikh, a worried shop-owner said, "My shop was the first one to catch fire at Manish Market. Electrical appliances and accessories in the shop worth around Rs 90 lakh have been burnt to ash. As our shop did not have an insurance cover and most of the goods we had in the shop were purchased on credit from suppliers, I do not know how we will return the money. My father is very stressed about what life has in store for us in the future."

Like him, Havez Ansari, whose mobile shop at Manish Market was gutted in the Saturday fire, is an aggrieved man. "Goods worth about Rs 50 lakh have been lost to the fire, and since we had no insurance, we are in big soup."

Narpath Sutar, who was employed as a salesman at a mobile shop in the Sara-Sahara Market that was reduced to ashes added, "With no insurance cover and 100 per cent losses, our jobs are hanging in the balance. Our boss has nothing left and we do not know if he will be able to employ us anymore."

Abdul Rauf, who was transporting whatever little goods were spared by the fire out of his shop on a handcart on Saturday afternoon said, "Though I managed to pull out a few goods safely out of the market, a major chunk, amounting to about Rs 5 lakh has been gutted in the fire. As my shop does not have any insurance cover, we will have to bear all losses ourselves."

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