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'Man-made disaster': Gujarat High Court takes suo motu cognizance of Rajkot gaming zone fire that killed 27 people
Photo courtesy: video grab

'Man-made disaster': Gujarat High Court takes suo motu cognizance of Rajkot gaming zone fire that killed 27 people

| @indiablooms | 26 May 2024, 07:43 pm

Ahmedabad: A day after a massive fire in a private amusement park/gaming zone in Gujarat's Rajkot claimed at least 27 lives, including children, the Gujarat High Court took suo motu cognisance on Sunday, media reported.

A special panel consisting of Justices Biren Vaishnav and Devan Desai met on Sunday morning, requesting a detailed report from the state government and municipal authorities on the legal basis under which such gaming zones and recreational venues were permitted to operate, reported Indian Express.

According to the report, the bench took note of news reports that indicate that the Rajkot gaming zone “appears to have taken advantage of the loopholes in the Gujarat Comprehensive General Development Control Regulations (GDCR) which paved the way for creating illegal recreational activities,” the Bench said that it is “shocked” and termed the incident a “man-made disaster”.

“These entertainment zones, as the newspaper suggests, have come up without the necessary approvals from the competent authorities. Certain Gujarati newspapers also suggest that in order to overcome taking permissions/NOCs, including fire NOC, and for construction permission, temporary structures have been created which are apparently tin sheds. Apart from the city of Rajkot, we take notice of the fact that such game zones have come up in the city of Ahmedabad on Sindhu Bhavan Road and SP Ring Road which pose a significant threat to public safety. Apart from constructing such game zones/recreational

activities, they have been put to use, according to news reports, without permission…Some newspapers also suggest that at the rajkot gaming zone there was stock of highly inflammable material such as petrol and tyres and fiberglass sheets,” the Bench noted, reported Indian Express.

In the interim, the Bench directed a panel of advocates to remain present before it on Monday “with instructions as to under what provisions of law did these corporations let these gaming zones/recreational facilities be continued or set up and be put to use”.

The Bench has also sought that the state and corporations “shall point out to us in what manner and whether such licenses, including the license to use and compliance of fire safety regulations, were done” for such entertainment zones.

Further, advocate Amit Panchal submitted an application regarding the fire incident, urging the court to promptly summon the state and its authorities to explain how TRP gaming zone was permitted to operate without the necessary permissions and licenses, the report added.

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