Batala factory blast: Cong MP urges Punjab govt to announce Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia for deceased's kin

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Monday appealed Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government to declare an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh for the kin of those who have lost their lives in Batala firecracker factory blast.

After visiting the accidental site and meeting victims of the blast, Bajwa sought compensation of Rs 10 lakh for those who sustained injuries in the explosion.

He even urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant some substantial amount as ex-gratia for the next of kin of the deceased and as compensation to the victims.

"I request the Punjab Government to declare an amount of Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the victims who have been injured in this untoward incident," former Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Bajwa said in a statement.

He further requested to announce a government job for the kin of the deceased to sustain their families.

Seeking action against the erring officials, Bajwa said, "A proper enquiry should be conducted by a team of senior officers and proper disciplinary and penal actions should be taken against the erring officials irrespective of their rank."

As Diwali festival is approaching, the government must ensure that no such incident occurs again in future, he noted.

"A statewide compliance report should be sought from all the deputy commissioners of Punjab wherein they will conduct a proper check of all such units and give a compliance report to the state government in a time-bound manner," the MP said.

Bajwa added that all such units should not be allowed to function in the municipal units of any city or town and there should be earmarked places where such hazardous units should be opened.

"This should be done immediately and also strict instructions should be given to the District Administration for compliance of the same failing which the strictest action should be taken against them," he said.

At least 23 people lost their lives in a blast that occurred at a firecracker factory in Batala city on September 4.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had ordered a magisterial inquiry in the accident and announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the seven severely injured, who were referred to Amritsar Medical College.

He had announced Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries.