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Ahead of CM Mamata’s Egra Visit on Saturday, Bengal Govt Prepares to Legalise Green Firecracker Industry

Trinamool Congress chairperson and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (File photo/PTI)

Chief Minister’s visit to Egra includes a meeting with the family members of the victims affected by the explosion at the illegal firecracker factory last week

A day ahead of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to Egra in Purba Medinipur district, where 12 people were killed in a huge explosion at an illegal firecracker factory last week, Chief Secretary of the State held meeting with District Magistrates, Commissioners and SP’s of all districts on legalising fireworks.

Chief Minister’s visit to Egra includes a meeting with the family members of the victims affected by the explosion at the illegal firecracker factory last week.

Legalising Firecrackers

The government is currently in the process of legalising cracker factories. During a meeting, it was decided that a simplified Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be formulated to expedite the licensing process for manufacturers.

In order to facilitate this, District Magistrates (DM) have been tasked with identifying suitable land, preferably in close proximity to existing areas and ensuring their safety, for the establishment of cracker manufacturing facilities.

According to sources, a decision has been made to introduce an online application system for obtaining licenses in the cracker industry. District Magistrates (DM) have been instructed to provide guidance and support and a few registered organizations will be involved in implementing this program.

The recent meeting followed a decision made during a Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister on Monday in which it was decided that clusters would be established in areas identified as hotspots for illegal firework manufacturing.

The government has made a decision to exclusively permit the manufacturing of green crackers.

In order to determine the layout of the clusters and ensure effective implementation, a team of stakeholders has been sent to Shivakashi in Tamil Nadu to study the existing setup and make recommendations. This team will receive special training from experts in Shivakashi during the first week of June.

According to sources in the administration, considering the significant number of people, approximately 10 lakh, currently engaged in the firecracker industry, the need of the hour is to explore alternative employment opportunities and ensure the smooth transition towards the legalization of the green cracker industry.

A tragic explosion occurred in Egra, Purba Medinipur, on May 16, resulting in the loss of 12 lives. Among the deceased was the prime accused, Bhanu Bag, who had fled to Odisha. However, he met his demise during his time in hiding. Following the incident, the case was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigation.

After the Egra blast, three members of a family succumbed in Budge Budge in South 24 Parganas on Monday and a fire at a carbide godown in Malda district on Tuesday killed two persons.

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