Despite having fire extinguishers installed, most primary schools in the state may have been sitting on tinderboxes.
The school education department issued orders in this regard on March 29, 2006 and asked 33 zilla parishads to purchase 17,697 extinguishers, with each school getting one machine.
The zilla parishads then bought fire extinguishers from the Maharashtra Small Scale industries Development Corporation (MSSIDC) with funds released by the state government, at a rate of Rs4,516 per unit.
The equipment had a five-year warranty and was to be refilled free of cost for three years.
"MSSIDC was supposed to get 75% of the payment initially.
It further said that neither the zilla parishads nor the MSSIDC sought bank guarantees.