Bengal fire-cracker blasts: State to set up 'Green Cracker' manufacturing hub
Kolkata, May 27 (IANS) Consequent to successive explosions and fire incidents at illegal fire-cracker factories and warehouses claiming around 20 lives in the last couple of weeks, the West Bengal government has decided to set up its own green-cracker cluster in the state.
An announcement on this count was made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday morning while addressing a programme at Egra in East Midnapore district of West Bengal where an explosion at an illegal fire-cracker factory recently claimed 12 lives, including that of the owner.
"The Egra explosion was an eye opener for us. However, we will have to keep in mind that lots of people are dependent on such fire-cracker outlets for their livelihoods. So I have asked the state chief secretary to prepare a detailed report on the issue. The state government will set up a green-cracker cluster at an open space, so that those involved in the business can be employed there," the chief minister said.
Besides providing a compensation of Rs 2,00,000 each to the next of kin of the victims, one member from each family will be provided a job of home-guard in state police.
"Some people set up such illegal fire-cracker factories for quick money. I also appeal to the people to immediately inform the police if they come to know of the existence of such illegal outlets. If the police officers concerned do not act on your complaints, I will take action against them and the police officer concerned will be removed," the chief minister said.
To recall, on May 16, a major explosion took place at an illegal fire-cracker factory at Egra claiming 12 lives. The sleuths of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are currently probing the matter.
The wife, son and nephew of the deceased owner of the factory Krishnapada Bag, who succumbed after being severely injured in the blast, have already been arrested. The opposition parties have alleged that not fire-crackers but crude bombs were manufactured at the illegal factory.