‘Non-adherence to fool-proof safety mechanism led to the accident at the oxygen house'
BJP State president G. Kishan Reddy on Sunday held the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant management responsible for not adhering to fool-proof safety mechanism leading to blast at the oxygen house of newly-built Steel Melt Shop-II on June 13.
Mr. Reddy was here to console the families of those killed in the blast and take part in the funeral of M.B. Muralidhar Raju, a BJP activist and a foreman at VSP who succumbed to the burns at Mumbai on Saturday. He said 15 employees – nine of them belonging to VSP and others on the payrolls of private contractors had died in the blast so far. Earlier, he visited the blast site and interacted with the employees of SMS department. The BJP leader said usage of inferior quality material like oxygen pipeline was a big compromise on adhering to quality standards. “There seems to be heavy pressure on the workers to achieve target and achieve stabilisation. If there was a technical snag, why did the officers show so much haste to get it rectified and start hot metal production at the new unit? Why they did not postpone it for a day or two?” he asked. He said there was no justification for assembly of 19 employees including some senior officials in such a small room to rectify the snag in the oxygen pipeline. Till recently, the fatalities were restricted to only two or three. The management should take proper steps to prevent recurrence of such disasters and punish those responsible at the earliest, he felt. Mr. Reddy demanded payment of ex-gratia of Rs.1 crore to the families of each employee killed in the blast apart from a permanent job to one of the eligible family members.