Vadodara: Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani on Monday called for strict enforcement of fire safety norms, in view of the blaze that killed 22 students at a coaching institute in Surat.
The Congress leader demanded that the state government conduct a thorough probe into the Surat fire tragedy, and said they will raise the issue of fire safety during the monsoon session of the state Assembly.
"We will ask the government to ensure strict implementation of fire safety norms in all schools, coaching classes, hospitals, commercial buildings and hotels across the state," Dhanani told PTI over phone.
He said the civic bodies need to monitor and carry out regular inspections of these premises and the ones failing to comply with fire safety regulations should be closed.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee's former president Arjun Modhwadia said in several cities, the kindergartens, play-schools and coaching classes were being run in residential societies, which was not permitted under the law, and such cases were allegedly being ignored by the civic authorities.
These commercial activities in residential areas need to be shut at the earliest, he said.
"The Surat tragedy is a shocking reminder of the fire safety norms not being given priority in the state," he said.
Twenty-two students, including 18 girls, of an art and craft coaching institute were killed in a devastating fire that engulfed a four-storey building in Surat on Friday.
Preliminary probe revealed that use of highly inflammable material and tyres, which doubled up as chairs in the coaching class, caused the fire to spread rapidly, Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh said on Sunday.