Chandigarh: A day after a firecracker factory blast in Gurdaspur's Batala left 23 dead, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa blamed the "lackadaisical attitude" of the Gurdaspur district administration for the tragedy.
Bajwa, a former Lok Sabha MP from Gurdaspur, also urged the Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government to register a case against erring officials after fixing responsibility in a time-bound probe.
"This incident projects the real picture of a casual and lackadaisical attitude of the district administration. From this incident, one could sense that the administration was not bothered at all about people's safety," Bajwa said.
He alleged that the "incompetency" of the administration led to the tragic incident. "If the responsibility of any official is not fixed, these kind of incidents will continue to happen in future," he added.
Bajwa also demanded that an ex gratia of Rs 25 lakh be given to the kin of each deceased and Rs 10 lakh to each injured.
The Punjab government had announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for the each severely injured.
"The government should also give government jobs to the kin of the deceased as per their educational qualifications," said Bajwa.
The Congress MP also urged the state government to issue directions to all deputy commissioners and senior superintendent of police in the state to ensure the removal of all firecracker factories from residential areas to prevent such incident in future.
He demanded that the probe into the incident be completed within 15 days.
Bajwa's criticism came after local residents claimed that despite repeated complaints to the administration, it failed to close the unit.
Twenty-three people were killed in the blast at the firecracker factory in Guru Ramdas Colony on Jalandhar road in Batala on Wednesday evening.
The blast had taken place around 4 pm at the factory located in residential area.
Several factory workers, members of the owner's family and passersby were killed in the explosion, officials said.
Seven critically injured were referred to the Amritsar medical college.