Not many fireworks units following safety norms: HC

Court seeks response from Centre, State on alternative jobs to workers

MADURAI

In the wake of the recent fire accident at a cracker unit in Madurai district that left seven workers dead, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday sought responses from the Central and the State governments on providing alternative jobs to those engaged in cracker units.

A Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and B. Pugalendhi observed that many cracker manufacturing units in the State were not following safety norms and this had resulted in serious injuries and deaths of workers. The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by J. Vasudevan from Tirumangalam in Madurai district.

The petitioner sought a direction to the State to ensure safety and security at the cracker units. Considering the plight of the workers, the court sought a status report from the State government on year and district-wise data on number of cracker units in the State and the workers engaged there.

The court sought details on the number of injuries and deaths that occurred as a result of fire accidents at the cracker units and action taken in this regard. The court asked the Centre and the State whether there were any plans to set up industries in the southern districts, particularly in the areas where there were a good number of cracker manufacturing units.

The governments had to come up with a plan so that the workers had an alternative option for employment, as the industry was facing a difficult situation and its fortunes were declining, the court said. It sought a response from the Central and the State governments and adjourned the hearing till December 4.

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