'Have You Gone Blind?': Gujarat HC Slams Officials Over Rajkot Game Zone Fire

The court observed that the gaming centre in Rajkot was constructed on unauthorised premises and that a hearing on fire safety had been ongoing for four years. “Have you gone blind? Were you asleep? Now, we have no faith in local administration and state government,” the court said.
rajkot fire

The court observed that the gaming centre in Rajkot was constructed on unauthorised premises.

Photo : PTI
Rajkot: Two days after the fire at the TRP game zone in Rajkot, where 28 people lost their lives, the Gujarat High Court on Monday strongly rebuked the Rajkot Municipal Corporation and local administration after multiple lapses in the investigation were uncovered. The game zone, owned by Yuvraj Singh Solanki, was entirely made of wood, had just one exit and had no fire NOCs.
As police continue to probe the incident, shocking revelations point at lapses, confirming that the popular hub was barely prepared for a tragedy like Sunday night's fire.
The court observed that the gaming centre in Rajkot was constructed on unauthorised premises and that a hearing on fire safety had been ongoing for four years. “Have you gone blind? Were you asleep? Now, we have no faith in local administration and state government,” the court said.
The court was informed that after the incident details about the gaming zones in their jurisdictions were sought from collectors, municipal commissioners, police commissioners, regional commissioners, district development officers, district police officers, and senior officers.
Advocate Manisha Luv Kumar Shah, who appeared on behalf of the government, said that all gaming activities have been shut down across the state since the incident. Further, a special team has been set up to probe all such issues and file a report within 72 hours.
Soon after the incident, three people were arrested, including Nitin Jain, the manager of the TRP Game Zone, and Yuvraj Singh Solanki, the owner of the game zone.
Narendra Singh Jadeja, President of the Rajkot District Bar Association, announced that due to the major accident in Rajkot, which resulted in 28 deaths, all lawyers in the district have decided not to represent the accused. “They believe that this is the greatest tribute they can offer, and they will instead step forward to fight on behalf of the victims,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat government has ordered the suspension of seven officials, including two police inspectors and civic staff members of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation for dereliction of duty. The suspended officials include Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) town planning department assistant engineer Jaideep Chaudhary, assistant town planner for RMC Gautam Joshi, Rajkot Roads and Buildings department's deputy executive engineer HR Suma, Assistant Engineer Road and Building Department of RMC Parsbhai M Kothiya, Station Officer of Fire and Emergency Services of Rajkot Municipal Corporation, Rohit Vigora and police inspectors VR Patel and NI Rathod, according to the orders passed by their respective departments.
As per a government release, the officials are responsible for “their gross negligence in allowing this game zone to operate without necessary approvals.”
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