Cotton mills put on notice

Special Correspondent

Collector orders inspection from January 29

GUNTUR: Two major fire accidents in cotton mills in Guntur district have exposed lack of safety measures.

In the light of last year’s inferno at the Agriculture Market Yard here in which chilli farmers lost heavily, district Collector B. Venkatesham has asked the District Fire Officer to seal the Sri Vijaya Venkateswara Cotton Mills at Perecherla.

Ironically, while the fire tenders were busy dousing fire at Bhrahmanapally Cotton Mills, they got a call at 9.30 a.m. about the Perecherla incident.

Two fire tenders were rushed from Sattenapalle and Guntur. Though the magnitude of fire was not much, initial sparks lit the entire lot of lint around the four workers engaged at the 3rd machine in the mills, charring one of them to death instantaneously.

Mr. Venkatesham said that inspection of all the mills would be conducted for adherence of safety norms from January 29 and those mills found wanting would be penalised and sealed.

Norms violation

At both the places, it was mechanical problem of the improperly maintained machines that led to the fire accident and the sparks from repeated friction between the steel guard and moving parts of the motorised machine led to the fire.

While in the Bhrahmanapally incident electrical wires also caught fire, at Perecherla it was clear violation of the safety norms by the mill owned by M. Rajasekhar, District Fire Officer Ch. Sambasiva Rao said.

Majority of mills were being engaged by the Cotton Corporation of India and the Fire Department proposes to issue notice to the CCI also to ensure they put pressure on the mill owners they hire for ginning to strictly adhere to safety norms.

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