National Green Tribunal Appoints Team To Look Into Vizag Gas Leak, Fines LG Polymers
The National Green Tribunal today appointed a five-member panel to look into the incident of a gas leak at LG Polymers India Pvt. Ltd. in Visakhapatnam that killed 11 people and exposed thousands living in nearby villages to toxic styrene fumes.
NGT suo motu took cognizance of the case and a bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the company to deposit Rs 50 crore with the Visakhapatnam district magistrate.
The Vizag gas leak took place at around 3:45 a.m. on May 7 at the plant, and the NGT noted that over 1,000 people have fallen ill.
The tribunal has issued notices to the Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board; district magistrate of Vishakhapatnam; Central Pollution Control Board; Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; and LG Polymers India. The replies to the notices must be filed before May 18.
The NGT panel is mandated to determine:
- The sequence of events.
- Causes of failure and persons and authorities responsible for it.
- Extent of damage to life, human and non-human; public health; and environment—including, water, soil, air.
- Steps to be taken for compensation of victims and restitution of the damaged property and environment, and the cost involved.
- Remedial measures to prevent recurrence.
- Any other incidental or allied issues found relevant.
The committee includes former judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Justice B Seshasayana Reddy; Prof. Ch V Rama Chandra Murthy, former vice chancellor of Andhra University; Professor Pulipati King, head of chemical engineering department of Andhra University, Vizag; member secretary of Central Pollution Control Board; director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology; and head of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Vizag.
“The Committee will be at liberty to take assistance of such experts, individuals and institutions as may be considered necessary,” the order said. “The Member Secretary, CPCB will act as nodal agency for coordination.”
The committee is directed to submit its report by May 18, when the tribunal will take up the case for hearing again.
The three-member NGT bench which passed today’s order also included Justice Sheo Kumar Singh and Dr. Nagin Nanda.