• Monday, June 17, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Gujarat court blasts state over amusement park fire: ‘We do not have faith’

The high court asked the Rajkot city’s municipal authorities whether they had turned a blind eye to the park coming up in its vicinity, after the latter said that it had not sought requisite permissions.

A woman wait outside a hospital mortuary to collect body of her family member who succumbed to injuries following a fire incident at an amusement park facility in Rajkot, in India’s Gujarat state on May 26, 2024. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE high court of the western Indian state of Gujarat on Monday (27) came down heavily on the municipal authorities of the city of Rajkot, two days after a devastating fire at an amusing park left at least 35 people dead, 12 of whom were children.

It said that it has lost faith in the state machinery, adding that the latter gets into action only after innocent lives are lost.

Pulling up the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) and asked whether it had turned a blind eye to the amusement area coming up in its vicinity, after the civic body’s lawyer submitted that the park, a TRP game zone, had not asked for requisite permissions.

A special bench of Justices Biren Vaishnav and Devan Desai was hearing a suo motu PIL on the game zone fire incident.

Read: Gujarat amusement park fire: 27 dead, including 9 children

The court also observed that all the Rajkot municipal commissioners, from the time the TRP game zone was set up in 2021 till the time of this incident (on May 25) “should be held accountable for the tragedy that occurred,” and directed them to furnish separate affidavits.

The fire at the TRP game zone in the Nana-Mava locality of Rajkot on Saturday (25) evening reportedly killed 35 persons, including children.

The game zone was operated without the fire NOC (no objection certificate), as per officials.

The court on Sunday (26) took suo motu cognisance of the fire tragedy, terming it a prima facie “man-made disaster”.

On Monday, a counsel pointed out that the unfortunate incident required immediate preventive and corrective measures, and the state government will have to come forward to hold a person accountable, and this calls for drastic steps.

The court then said, “Who will take such drastic steps? Honestly speaking, we do not have faith in the state machinery now. Four years after orders of this court, directing them, after their assurance, this is the sixth incident that has happened. They only want lives to be lost and then trigger the machinery,” the court observed.

Gujarat has been governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party of prime minister Narendra Modi, who also hails from the same state, for many decades now. Modi took to X to call the incident extremely distressing.

https://x.com/narendramodi/status/1794390589729067052

In October 2022, the state was in the headlines after a suspension bridge over a river in the city of Morbi collapsed, resulting in deaths of 141 people and injuries to several others. It was alleged that poor maintenance had led to the accident.

(With PTI inputs)

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