Pranab seeks probe into Stephen Court blaze

Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 21:43

Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee on Sunday demanded an inquiry into the Stephen Court
fire and virtually flayed the opposition`s attempt to blame
the state government`s `poor` disaster management for the
tragic incident that claimed 32 lives.

"There is a need for an inquiry to ascertain the cause
of the fire and if (fire) safety measures were taken, but
blaming or abusing anyone will not bring alive those who have
died," Mukherjee, who is the state Congress chief, told
reporters after a party meeting.

He was asked if the state government`s mishandling of
the situation was responsible for the loss of so many lives
and the horrific scenes of men and women jumping to their
deaths from the burning highrise on Park Street.

Mukherjee said an enquiry was indeed required to find out
whether there existed any lapses and defects leading to the
fire "so that such incidents did not recur in future".

Mukherjee`s critical comments came after Trinamool
Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed
the `poor` disaster management by the state government and its
`doing little for implementation of fire safety measures` in
old buildings.

Banerjee had also alleged that rescue operations had not
been carried out properly.

Trinamool Congress and Congress in the Assembly jointly
demanded immediate resignation of the fire services minister,
Pratim Chatterjee, for the frequent fire incidents in the
city, while Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee came down
on a builder-administration nexus.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 21:43

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