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After Pirangut fire, special squads to act against illegal production, storage of sanitisers

The incident of fire at industrial plant which claimed 17 lives in Pirangut have put the district administration on high alert as strict action will be taken against companies who are involved in illegal manufacturing of sanitizers, officials said on Wednesday
By Jigar Hindocha, Pune
PUBLISHED ON JUN 09, 2021 08:30 PM IST

The incident of fire at industrial plant which claimed 17 lives in Pirangut have put the district administration on high alert as strict action will be taken against companies who are involved in illegal manufacturing of sanitizers, officials said on Wednesday. The industries department has also constituted special squads to check illegal storage of production of sanitizers, considered to be inflammable due to ethanol contents.

“Many manufacturing units of producing sanitizers have come up in the last two years, and action will be taken on all such units which are manufacturing it without licence,” said Sadashiv Survase, joint director of industries, Pune region.

The state government will be making special squads which will visit various industries in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and rural Pune. The squads will be monitoring work of each company by visiting their manufacturing units.

After the fire tragedy at Pirangut, officials from local administration started the probe and around 20,000 to 30,000 bottles of sanitizers were found stored in the inventory at SVS where fire broke out killing 17 workers.

According to Abhay Chavam, tehsildar, Mulshi region, bottles of sanitizers were found stored in his inventory.

He however said that it is quite clear that there was no production of sanitizers as there was no raw material and machinery required to produce the sanitizers were found at the spot.

“All we have found is the machinery and material required to manufacture chlorine dioxide, used in the water purification,” said Chavan.

The senior police officers also said that the company was producing sanitizers, as alleged by relatives of victims.

“Although we found some barrels of sanitizers, but it is in small quantity and possibly brought for the use of workers during Covid,” Pune superintendent of police Abhinav Deshmukh had said on Tuesday after the owner of the firm was arrested.

Following the incident, officials from industries department have formed special squads which will visits various industries in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and rural Pune. The squads will be monitoring work of each company by visiting their manufacturing units.

“Along with checking licence of the company, squad will also take a note of number of emergency exit point in companies has and how safety measures are placed in the companies,” said Survase.

According to information received by officials, many companies started production of sanitizers in the wake of Covid-19 without any licence agreement.

Along with the industrial unit, fire department and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board will also join special squads to find out any other irregularities.

“Many companies have not renewed their MPCB license, we will fine such industries,” said a sub-regional officer from Pune II zone.

Survase added “All the essential steps will be taken to avoid incident like Pirangut in future.”

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