In 1950, a week before Deepavali, at about 7 p.m. there was a deafening explosion followed by a series of medium and heavy explosions that continued for about 15 minutes. The explosions rattled the shops and houses in that area. After the explosions subsided, people moved out cautiously to find that a well-stocked cracker shop was burnt beyond recognition. The owner of the shop, Nalam Raja, who was trapped inside was also badly burnt. The shop was located opposite the Kanyaka Parmeswari Temple in the Old Town area. After the mishap, the fire officer, an Englishman, who was also the agent of Ripley and Company, inspected the premises and ordered that all cracker shops should be set up outside the town limits with adequate fire safety measures. (Contributed by Kolluru Jagannadha Rao) Oldest Municipal AssociationVizagapatam is one of the oldest municipal towns in India. Under the Madras Presidency, it was the first to have set up a Voluntary Municipal Association in 1858 to be followed by Nellore, Kurnool, Vizianagaram and Beemunipatnam. The association was started by men of prominence and was brought under the purview of the India Act XXVI of 1850. (Plus People)
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