Expressing grief and shock at the tragic incident, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered a detailed inquiry by the Patiala Divisional Commissioner into the Ludhiana factory collapse and announced compensation for those killed in the mishap.The inquiry will encompass all aspects of the incident and would ascertain violations by the owner of the factory in storing chemicals and going against the law. Any violation of the construction laws would also be identified, said the Chief Minister, during a visit to the site of the tragedy to assess the relief and rescue operations.The Chief Minister took stock of the situation and directed the district authorities to speed up the rescue and relief efforts. Consoling the families of the victims, he said no stone would be left unturned to try and find those still believed to be buried under the debris.Captain Amarinder was accompanied by Local Bodies and Tourism & Culture Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and PPCC president & Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar, besides Media Advisor to CM, Raveen Thukral.
The Chief Minister announced compensation for the families of those killed in the collapse, which was triggered by a major fire followed by an explosion. The four firemen and one sanitary inspector killed in the tragedy will be given Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia, with the state government and the Municipal Corporation contributing 50% each, along with one job per family on compassionate grounds. The five civilians who lost their lives in the incident will be provided Rs 2 lakh each as ex-gratia.The Chief Minister made it clear that strict action would be initiated against any officer found guilty of dereliction of duty or lapse of any kind, leading to the mishap. Captain Amarinder said his government was cognizant of the pathetic state of the fire services in the state and had already taken several steps to strengthen the same. A Directorate of Fire Services was established earlier this year and 69 fire brigades were purchased and distributed to the municipal corporations and municipal councils. Another 27 fire brigades were in the pipeline and would come by December, he said. The Chief Minister further announced that the new Fire Safety Act was under formulation and would be ready by December.
The Directorate of Fire Services and the Fire Safety Act will check on unauthorized buildings and those lacking in fire safety norms, said the Chief Minister, adding that adequate equipment for the fire stations would be made available under the Fire Directorate, which will be headed by an IPS officer.The Chief Minister was, on his arrival earlier, briefed at the helipad by the Ludhiana DC and Commissioner of Police.Meanwhile, an official spokesperson has identified 10 of the 11 persons reportedly killed in the tragedy as Sarmohan Gill (Sub Fire Officer), Puran Singh (Leading Fireman), Rajan Singh (Fireman), Vishal Kumar, Inderpal Singh Pal Taxi Wala, Laxman Dravid (Chief Sanitary Inspector posted at Pathankot), Sandeep Singh (factory worker), Baldev Raj (factory worker), Amarjot, and Ghanaya.The two injured men, identified as Rohit Kumar and Sunil Kumar, are undergoing treatment at CMC Hospital Ludhiana. The Chief Minister directed the Deputy Commissioner to ensure free treatment to those admitted in the hospital.