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'Did you fall asleep? we do not trust local system and State govt': Gujarat High Court on Rajkot fire

Four children under the age of 12 were among the 27 persons killed in the massive fire that swept through a game zone teeming with people enjoying a summer vacation outing on Saturday evening.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Ahmedabad Updated on: May 27, 2024 13:20 IST
Machines move debris as onlookers watch following a fire in a gaming zone in Rajkot
Image Source : REUTERS Machines move debris as onlookers watch following a fire in a gaming zone in Rajkot

Days after the deadly fire at a gaming centre in Gujarat's Rajkot killed 27 including children, the Gujarat High Court, on Monday, fumed over the fact that the gaming zones in the city had been functioning for over two years without the required permits. During the hearing, the court, in stern words, slammed the state government and the Rajkot municipal body for their negligence and said:  "Have you gone blind? Did you fall asleep? Now we do not trust the local system and the state government".

Notably, the game zone, where the blaze erupted on Saturday, was operated without the fire NOC (no objection certificate). "The game zone had received permissions from the roads and buildings department. It had also submitted a proof of fire safety equipment to obtain the fire NOC, which was under process and not yet completed," Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargava told reporters on Sunday.

The Gujarat High Court on Sunday took suo motu cognisance of the fire tragedy, terming it a prima facie "man-made disaster". The HC noted that a stock of highly inflammable materials such as petrol, fibres and fibreglass sheets were stored at the facility. 

Gujarat govt suspends six officials 

Meanwhile, the Gujarat government on Monday ordered the suspension of six officials in connection with the Rajkot game zone fire that claimed 27 lives.  The officials have been held responsible for their "gross negligence in allowing the game zone to operate without necessary approvals," a government release stated.

Those who have been suspended are Rajkot Municipal Corporation's town planning department assistant engineer Jaideep Chaudhary, assistant town planner for RMC Gautam Joshi, Rajkot Roads and Buildings department's deputy executive engineers MR Suma and Paras Kothiya, and police inspectors VR Patel and NI Rathod, as per orders passed by the respective departments.

The government's action of suspending six officials comes a day after Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inspected the site where the fire erupted on Saturday and instructed the departments concerned to take strict and punitive action against those responsible for such a serious incident.

Also Read: Rajkot fire: CM Patel takes stock of gaming zone, DNA samples collected for identification of victims

 

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