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Mishaps in fireworks units to be studied

S. Sundar
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By a six-member Central committee formed by CSIR

SAD:One of the working sheds of Om Sakthi Fireworks Industries, where a large stock of explosives blew up at Mudalipatti near Sivakasi.— FILE PHOTO
SAD:One of the working sheds of Om Sakthi Fireworks Industries, where a large stock of explosives blew up at Mudalipatti near Sivakasi.— FILE PHOTO

: A six-member Central committee formed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), comprising scientists from top Central research institutes would study the reasons for fire accidents in the cracker units in the district and suggest suitable safety measures.

The committee formed by the Planning and Performance Division of CSIR is likely to visit here on October 10 and 11 according to Virudhunagar MP, B. Manicka Tagore.

“The Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) is very much concerned about the safety of the fireworks industry that provides employment to thousands of people. He promised to send the top scientists of the country to study the industry and redefine its process to avoid recurrence of accidents,” Mr. Tagore told The Hindu here on Thursday. Mr. Tagore took up the September 5 accident in Om Sakthi Fireworks Industries at Muthalipatti near here in which 39 persons were killed and several others injured.

“The Prime Minister said that the Centre was ready to provide any kind of assistance through other Central agencies too for ensuring safety in cracker units,” the Congress MP said.

Mr. Tagore had also met the Union Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology, Ashwani Kumar, and discussed the 700-odd cracker units of Virudhunagar district that meet over 90 per cent of the fireworks requirement of the country.

The committee, led by the Director of CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, M.O. Garg, would visit Sivakasi to get first hand information on the accidents and suggest specific involvement of CSIR laboratories for providing scientific intervention to the cracker units.

“There are not so many accidents in some of the industries that are more hazardous than the fireworks units. If there are so many fatal accidents in the cracker units, then there is something seriously wrong here, which can be set right through the right scientific intervention,” Mr. Tagore said.

Among the members are Director, Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee or his nominee, Dr. Nabiullah, Chief Scientist and Head, Explosive Research Laboratory, Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad, K.H.V. Prasad, Senior Principal Scientist, Indian Institute of Chemical technology, Hyderabad, Vijay Bukkawar, Adviser, Indian Chemical Council and M. Suryanarayanan, Chemical Engineering Division, Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai.

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