Rajkot Gaming Zone Was ‘Unauthorised’, Didn’t Have Fire NOC Too - Vibes Of India

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Rajkot Gaming Zone Was ‘Unauthorised’, Didn’t Have Fire NOC Too

| Updated: May 26, 2024 11:32

At least 33 people, around 10 of them children, have been killed in a major fire in an unauthorised TRP Gaming Zone at Rajkot in Gujarat.

The Gaming Zone did not have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) or any fire safety equipment at the spot to meet eventualities like the one that happened on Saturday evening.

Civic authorities will have to conduct DNA of all bodies as they have been charred beyond recognition.

Jaimin Thakar, chairman of RMC’s standing committee, said, “They were operating the recreational facility without the mandatory fire no-objection certificate (NOC) and it was running without any authorisation. The game zone operators have to obtain a license from the entertainment department. But the TRP Game Zone owners had not applied for the license.”

TRP Game Zone had been operating for the last 18 months right in the heart of the city and its promoters were widely publicising the recreational facility. They had hired social media influencers for the publicity.

The gaming zone is approachable from two main roads — Kalavad Road and Nana Mauva Road.

In the early hours of Sunday, Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi assessed the site and reported that one individual remained unaccounted for following the incident and emphasised that locating this missing person was a top priority.

“Our first priority is that…as per the information we have, one person is still missing and it is our responsibility to look for the person. We are deploying maximum teams for that…,” Sanghvi told reporters.

Sanghvi also informed that all officials have been instructed to be present at the Collector’s office by 3 and he will also be sitting in the Collector’s office.

“A very sad incident took place at Rajkot, many family members lost their loved ones and many children have also died in the incident…SIT has been instructed to start the investigation by 3 am… all officials of those departments under which the responsibility of game zone construction lies, have been instructed to be present at the Collector’s office today. All types of investigations will begin today itself and soon action will be taken to serve justice,” Harsh Sanghvi said.

According to unconfirmed reports, the Gaming Zone had over 2,000 litres of petrol and 800 tyres, when a welding machine sparked the fire. There are nearly 300 people in the Zone when the fire started around 5 pm.

Since there was no proper exit system, the elders rushed out from a single ladder from the third floor, but the kids got stuck. Ironically, the daily entry fee to the facility was Rs 500 per person which had been reduced to Rs 99 per person explaining the mad rush.

Meanwhile, 10 people, including the owner Yuvrajsinh Solanki and managers of the TRP game zone Nitin Jain and Yagnesh Pathak were taken to a police station for interrogation into the incident.

Rajkot Police Commissioner, Raju Bhargava said, “The police action is underway. The owner and the manager of the game zone have been taken to the police station for interrogation.”

The police commissioner also ordered all gaming zones to stop operations even as questions were being raised as to why none of the authorities bothered to check this particular facility.

Gujarat Director General of Police has instructed the commissioners of police and district superintendents of police to inspect all the game zones in the state and to close the game zones running without fire safety permission. The DGP has told to carry out this procedure in coordination with the fire officers of the municipalities and municipalities and the local system.

It has been found that the Gujarat Comprehensive General Development Control Regulations (CGDCR), implemented in the state in 2017, has glaring loopholes, which are taken advantage of by illegal gaming zones, mushroomed across the state. CGDCR, implemented by the state’s Urban Development Department completely lacks any specific instructions for construction rules in gaming zones and such recreational facilities.

Leaders from across the political spectrum condoled the loss of lives in the massive incident at the game zone.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel regarding the accident and offered his condolences to the families of the deceased.

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