Surat: A survey by fire and emergency services of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) at Pandesara GIDC revealed that out of 145 textile units, none had made adequate provisions for fire safety.
Chief fire officer (CFO), SMC, Vasant Parikh told TOI, “Until now we have surveyed only half the units at Pandesara GIDC and not found any mill adequately equipped with fire safety provisions. We will be issuing notices to all of them and asking them to comply with fire safety norms.”
There are about 350 textile mills located in the city and nearby areas of Palsana and Kadodara. These textile mills employ about 3 lakh workers and their monthly turnover is pegged at about Rs1,800 crore
With a turnover of Rs21,000 crore per annum, the textile units located in the industrial areas need to take care of their own health. The lives of lakhs of workers are at risk due to weak structures and no fire safety provisions,” a fire officer said.
Major industries spend around eight per cent on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and also on lavish layout for their own units. However, other textile mills are run under tin-sheds and have concrete walls and temporary supports. These textile mills dump their finished products and raw materials in semi-open shades, which is a recipe for fire disaster.
The recent instruction of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) about chimneys to mills has helped bring down air pollution marginally.
GPCB vigilance officer at Surat, Anil Patel, said, “In the last few months, we have issued notices to at least 36 textile mills for causing air pollution. They comply with law for a few days and then again turn to their old practices.”