Rajahmundry:Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday raised ex-gratia to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 2 lakh for next of the kin of 17 persons killed in an explosion-cum-blaze at a firecracker manufacturing unit in East Godavari district.
"The state government has decided to raise the ex-gratia to the kin of each deceased to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 2 lakh as announced earlier, (besides) half acre agricultural land (for the kin of victims) and education to their children in (government) residential schools," Naidu told reporters after visiting the hospital where those injured in the mishap, occurred yesterday, are undergoing treatment.
The explosion took place in the private firecracker unit, located at Vakatippa village under Uppada Kothapalli mandal near the district headquarters town of Kakinada, about 500 km from Hyderabad.
Naidu also met family members of the deceased and expressed his condolence. "We have lost 17 lives due to selfishness and incompetency?of a person who is unable to do things in a good manner," Naidu told reporters referring to the owner of the factory.
The chief minister said that the explosion was caused due to illegal stocking and manufacturing of firecrackers. "Even the license to run the unit was not renewed," he added.
Naidu said that since a large number of fire crackers are being manufactured in East Godavari district to fulfil orders from across the state, the need of the hour is to cross-check whether stocking of firecrackers is done in a proper manner and necessary precautionary measures are taken.
He directed officials to take necessary steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Naidu also visited the site of explosion.
Meanwhile, district collector Neetu Prasad said in a statement that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered and Kakinada Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) B R Ambedkar will be probing the incident.
"A case has been registered against the owner of the unit, Kopisetty Appa Rao, in U Kothapalli police station under various sections of IPC for negligence and culpable homicide not amounting to murder and under section 9 G (clause I and II) of the Explosive Substance Act 1884," it said.
Appa Rao's licence expired on March 31, 2014 and was manufacturing crackers illegally without renewing it, as per the statement.