Batala, Sep 6 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered immediate crackdown on illegal firecracker manufacturing units, operating from congested areas.
His directions have come two days after a series of blasts in a firecracker unit in a densely populated residential area here claimed 23 lives and injured 18 others. The unit running illegally as its licence had expired in 2013.
The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to take immediate steps for closure of such illegal units and precautionary measures to prevent such mishaps.
Talking to the media after meeting some of the victims in hospital and visiting the site, Singh said the government would not allow such illegal activities in densely populated areas and putting the lives and properties of residents at risk.
The Chief Minister also met blast deceaseds' families and assured them of all support and adequate compensation for the losses.
He asked the Deputy Commissioner to complete damage assessment at the earliest and ensure release of compensation to the affected persons soon.
The Chief MInister said he had ordered a magisterial probe into the mishap.
When pointed out that an inquiry report of a similar mishap in January 2017 was still pending, he expressed surprise at the inordinate delay in submission of the report and said the officials' accountability would be fixed.
He said since the mishap took place two months before he took over as the Chief Minister in March 2017, a separate enquiry would be initiated as the previous probe had yet not been concluded.
The state has announced Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia to the next of the kin of the deceased, besides free and best possible treatment to the injured.
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