A YEAR after the multi-storey building of a polymer factory collapsed after an inferno at Suffian Chowk of Ludhiana on November 20 last year, the fire department held a prayer meeting at fire office in memory of sixteen persons who died in the incident including nine firemen who were killed in the line of duty. Mortal remains of three firemen were never found from smoldering rubble even after a week-long search operation.
Last year on November 20, the building of Amarson Polymers collapsed after a major fire, killing sixteen persons. Since then, the factory owner Inderjit Singh Gola is out on bail. He was booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and court case is ongoing. The factory building was also found to be illegal and additional floors were added to it without getting map passed from Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.
Meanwhile in Chandigarh Local Bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu handed over job appointment letters to kin of five deceased firemen, while four families are still waiting for formalities to be completed. Al families have received compensation of Rs 10 lakh each.
Bhupinder Singh, ADFO, said that Sukhmani Sahib Path was held at fire office and families of firemen who were in city attended. He added that while five families were given job letters today, process to give jobs to four other families is still ongoing.
Of the nine fire department men martyred in the tragedy, the kin of sub fire officers Sumaon Gill, Rajinder Sharma and Rajkumar and firemen Puran Singh and Rajan were handed over job appointment letters at Chandigarh by local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Of four families that are still waiting for jobs, three are of firemen whose mortal remains were never found — Manohar Lal, Sukhdev Singh and Manpreet Singh and fourth fireman Vishal.
Aatish Rai, Ludhiana firemen union head, said, “Firemen Sukhdev Singh and Manpreet Singh were contractual employees due to which their cases are getting delayed. Navan, son of Manohar Lal is still a minor and will get appointment letter only after he attains age of 18. The case file of younger brother of fireman Vishal is also pending.”
Meanwhile, there is still no sign of enquiry report which was ordered by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Patiala divisional commissioner was asked to conduct it.
Malkit Singh, father of martyr fireman Manpreet Singh said, “My daughter is yet to get job appointment letter. So what if my son was a contractual employee, he also gave up his life dousing fire. We are still unaware that what is status of enquiry report which was ordered by CM.
That report should be made public.” Advocate Sukhchain Singh Gill, public prosecutor in the case, said that no such enquiry report has been submitted in the court till now as part of legal proceedings.
Six others who died included local Valmiki leader Laxman Dravid, a taxi service owner Inderpal Singh and factory employees- Dhan Bahadur, Ghanaiyya, Sandeep, Amarjot and Baldev Raj.