THE STATE labour department Wednesday issued closure notices to three chemical factories hours after a major fire broke out in the units located at Vatva Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) phase-2 in Ahmedabad.
The fire was first reported around 12.30 am on Wednesday at Matangi Industries, a chemical factory at Vatva GIDC phase-2 area near Vatva Vinzol railway crossing. It soon spread to two adjacent factories — Jagson Colorchem Limited and Bhavin Industries, officials said. The blaze spotted even from the far-off residential pockets in Vatva area, caused panic though no casualties or injuries were reported, they added.
More than 100 personnel of the fire safety department and local police along with ambulances were rushed to the spot after the fire was reported, Rajesh Bhatt, additional chief fire officer, Fire Safety department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation said. “Six fire-fighting vehicles and 24 water tankers were pressed in action and the fire was doused by 10 am. No casualties have been reported. The reason for fire remains unknown as of now,” Bhatt added.
Following the incident, the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) issued a closure order under Section 40(2) of the Factory Act. Vipul Mittra, ACS, Labour and Employment department, also directed DISH to step up and undertake necessary steps to ensure worker safety in all manufacturing facilities.
“Necessary instructions have been issued to the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) to act swiftly…We have issued closure orders to the units following an inspection by DISH officials” Mittra said.
P M Shah, the head of DISH, said a government resolution issued on November 26, 2020, stated that factories will now be required to take no-objection certificates from the Fire department under Gujarat Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2013. “We will review the fire and other related safety aspects before allowing resumption of manufacturing operations (at the three factories) and the units will remain closed till all necessary compliances meet the standards,” Shah said.
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