Files with taxpayer info burnt in 30-min fire at meter room

GREATER NOIDA: A fire broke out on the premises of the sales tax office in around 10.15am on Saturday apparently due to a short circuit in the .
The flames were brought under control in half an hour by fire tenders and workers of the office.

The flames, however, damaged many documents dating between 2010 and 2015. Though officials claimed only 20-25 files had burnt, sources said there were many more that had been burnt.

“The files had been kept there only because there was empty space available in the room. They had been kept on a shelf inside the meter room,” an official said.

Officials told TOI they had used four fire extinguishers in the office to help douse the flames before fire tenders joined.

JP Singh, deputy commissioner of commercial tax, who was present in the sales tax office at the time of the fire, said these were “consigned files” and were not required any more.

“About 25-30 consigned files have got burnt. We have saved many of them. Thankfully, the fire happened in the morning and not at night. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to control the flames,” he said.

While the fire was doused by 11am, sales tax office employees could be seen removing the damaged files from the spot and shifting them to another room till around 1pm.

Asked what kind of files were among the ones that got damaged in the fire, a sales tax official said they contained communication to banks or other tax- payers, internal government communication, and so on.

“They can be reproduced if a copy of the document is present with the tax-payer,” he said.

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