Bengal blast aftermath: No fresh license to firecracker units at district levels
Past few months have seen successive blasts in illegal firecracker utilities in different pockets of the state
In the aftermath of a major blast at an illegal firecracker warehouse in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on August 27, the state government has decided to adopt strong measures in granting fresh licenses or renewal of licenses to firecracker utilities.
As the first step on this count, state government sources said, the system of granting fresh licenses or renewal of old licenses for firecracker utilities at the district level would be totally done away with. Instead the process will be done at a centralised level.
“There had been instances of corruption at the district-level in granting of fresh licenses or renewal of licenses, where many such units, including firecracker manufacturing factories and warehouses used to operate without adopting the minimum safety norms. So the state government has decided to centralise the system totally to eliminate possibilities of corruption on this count,” said a senior state government official who did not wish to be named.
Strict instructions on this count have been issued from the state chief secretary to the different district magistrates and district police superintendents on this count. “At the same time, the state government has also decided to involve the Intelligence Branch of the state police to get information about the illegal firecracker utilities, be it manufacturing factories or warehouses. The district police superintendents have also been asked to start a massive drive in their respective district against such illegal entities and confiscate all illegal firecrackers,” a state government official said.
Past few months have seen successive blasts in illegal firecracker utilities in different pockets of the state.
On May 16 this year, as many as nine persons died in a similar blast at an illegal fire-cracker factory at Egra in East Midnapore district. The owner of the factory Bhanu Bag was among those killed in the blast.
Again on May 21, there was a similar blast at Budge Budge in South 24 Parganas district. Though no one was killed in the blast, some were injured and the event revealed how the entire Budge Budge area had become a hub for illegal fire-cracker factories and warehouses.