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Oct 9, 2009

Cracker shops in common open area suggested

The police on Tuesday conducted a meeting to sensitise cracker merchants to the various safety aspects to be adhered to during the Deepavali festival season.On instructions from Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore City, P. Sivanandi, the applicants who had sought fire cracker shop licence were invited for a meeting with police officials. The effort was taken in the wake of a fire accident that claimed lives at a cracker shop in a congested pocket in Thiruvannamalai district.

The police officials pointed out that running cracker shops in small shops and in residential areas in narrow lanes and by lanes was risky. In the event of an accident, negotiating a fire-tender through such lanes would be near impossible and would require time.

The extent of damage or loss of lives could not be minimised. Hence, the police citing the Singapore model suggested that fire cracker shops could be located in a common open area in every police station limit with adequate fire safety precautions. Under such arrangement fire tenders and water tankers could be ideally stationed there to handle any emergency situation.

The merchants expressed limitations and feasibility factors in adhering to such a suggestion and that too at such a short notice. However, a section of the merchants expressed that initiatives could be tried from next year, since sufficient time was not available this year. A decision on the same is awaited.

Risks

Police officials, however, explained the risks involved in stocking and selling fire crackers and the precautionary and safety measures to be adhered to.Deputy Commissioner of Police, P. Nagarajan (Law and Order), also addressed the cracker merchants. Nearly 250 cracker merchants attended the meeting.

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