VIJAYAWADA: In a move to crackdown on illegal cracker manufacturing units, NTR police formed special teams to take stringent action against those putting public safety at risk by flouting norms. The moves comes even as incidents of explosions were reported at cracker manufacturing units in West Godavari and Vijayawada districts last year during Diwali.
Five people had lost their lives in the explosions sending shockwaves across the State. Two people were burnt to death in an inferno that broke out in a firecracker shop in Vijayawada last year on October 23. The incident took place when traders were setting up firecracker shops at Gymkhana Grounds in Gandhi Nagar area in the city. Moreover, three out of 19 shops were completely gutted, creating panic among people in the area.
In another incident, three people were killed and four others were seriously injured in an explosion in a crackers manufacturing unit at Kadiyadda in West Godavari district on November 10 in the same year. In both the incidents, the negligence of managements was found to be the reason behind the mishap.To ensure that no untoward incident is reported ahead of the festival this year, NTR police commissioner Kanthi Rana Tata formed special teams to inspect the crackers manufacturing units in the district.
As a part of the drive, special teams were sent for ground-level verification and inspection of cracker manufacturing units to check trade licenses and other safety measures being taken by the units.“The special teams are inspecting all manufacturing units in the district for the past one week to ensure that every unit has been following safety protocols,” said the deputy commissioner of police Vishal Gunni. “In general, working conditions at manufacturing units are hazardous. Our intention is to keep a check on these units so that no untoward incident is reported during the festival season,” he maintained.
He further stated that special arrangements were being made at cracker stalls in the city in coordination with other departments concerned such as fire department, revenue and Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. “A total of eight places have been allotted to traders to set up stalls and sell their crackers. In a first-of-its-kind, permissions for traders are being issued under single window system. Firefighting equipment are being stationed at all cracker stalls in the city. Additionally, disaster management service personnel have been roped in as well,” he added.