Kolkata: West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) officials on Saturday conducted a raid at a ceremonial house in Belur that reportedly belongs to Burima, Bengal’s biggest fireworks manufacturer, and confiscated banned crackers weighing more than 4,000kg.
Suman Das, owner of Burima Fireworks, denied involvement in trading of banned crackers. “We operate according to norms. We don’t know on what basis WBPCB and police carried out the raid,” he said. WBPCB officials said the unit had no fire-safety licence. “The licence that was furnished mentioned a minuscule amount of fireworks that could be kept. The stock found there was far in excess,” an official said.
According to WBPCB, the building near Belur police station was used as an illegal godown for crackers. There are only three recognized warehouses in the state — at Uluberia, Nilgunj and Naihati — where crackers can be stocked.
The discovery of crackers in such large quantity in a congested residential locality has triggered an alarm. “Even a small spark at the stockpile could have led to a disaster,” the official said.
Preliminary probe revealed that Burima had outsourced the manufacturing of banned crackers to units in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. Truckloads of crackers were then transported from there to the Belur house at night. These were kept on the fourth-floor of the house. They were then distributed in smaller packages to markets in various towns in the state.