Demanding a judicial probe into the fire tragedy which claimed 20 lives last night, opposition Congress and BJP today demanded the resignation of Odisha Health Minister Atanu S Nayak, while CPI leader D Raja sought a high-level probe into the incident. The fire tragedy, in the backdrop of the death of over 50 children due to Japanese Encephalitis in Malkangiri district, has come as a major ammunition for the opposition which demanded Nayak's resignation. The Congress also demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh and a job to the kin of each of the deceased. Odisha Congress chief Prasad Harichandan said, "The state government has not learnt anything from the 2011 AMRI hospital (Kolkata) fire accident in which, at least 89 people were killed. "Apart from the hospital authorities, I will say that both the chief minister and the health minister are responsible for the tragedy. The state government must declare Rs 25 lakh as compensation and a job to the kin of each of the deceased." Raising questions over the no-objection certificate issued to Sum Hospital, Harichandan alleged that the fire tragedy was an outcome of "complete negligence" on part of the state government. "A judicial probe must be ordered into the incident and the culprits must be booked," he said. CPI national secretary D Raja, who visited several health institutions where the patients evacuated from Sum Hospital were undergoing treatment, said, "A neutral probe is required to find out the lapses in the fire safety management at the hospital. Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia is not adequate.
Our party has demanded that the amount should be increased to Rs 20 lakh. "When such big corporate hospitals are built, there must be adequate medical infrastructure, including fire safety measures, and these must be monitored regularly. This is a case of complete negligence. All the lapses must be thoroughly analysed.
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