Excerpt from Livemint Article, Published on Feb 14, 2024

In the wake of the tragic fire incident at a unit manufacturing sparkle candles in Talawade on December 8, 2023, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has intensified its efforts to ensure fire safety compliance among industrial units in the area. Following a detailed survey of 43,941 industrial premises, the corporation has unearthed significant lapses in adherence to fire regulations.

A staggering 2,423 units have been identified as non-compliant, prompting PCMC to issue notices to 622 industrial establishments. This revelation came to light as PCMC submitted an affidavit to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on February 14, outlining the corporation’s actions and responses to the Talawade tragedy. The NGT, seizing the matter with urgency, took suo motu cognizance of the incident and registered a case. In a bid to ascertain the extent of the damage and response measures, the principal bench of the tribunal instructed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to furnish a comprehensive report by January 12, later postponed to January 15.

During the subsequent hearings, held on January 15, the NGT transferred the case to the western zonal bench in Pune. The tribunal also demanded a detailed report on compensation disbursements to victims’ families and the steps taken in the aftermath of the fire. Representing PCMC in the proceedings on February 14, Pradeep Patil, the additional commissioner, submitted an affidavit highlighting the corporation’s endeavors. PCMC’s fire department has undertaken rigorous fire audits across all commercial premises under its jurisdiction. The findings underscore a pressing need for compliance with fire safety standards.

Moreover, the affidavit confirmed that the state government has disbursed relief funds amounting to ₹5,00,000 per deceased laborer to their legal heirs, as documented by PCMC records. The Talawade tragedy has served as a sobering reminder of the critical importance of robust fire safety measures within industrial units. PCMC’s proactive stance, coupled with the NGT’s oversight, reflects a concerted effort to prevent future calamities and safeguard lives and livelihoods in the region.

To delve deeper into this topic, please read the full article in the Livemint.