Demand adequate compensation to those killed in the blast
Tension gripped HPCL Visakh Refinery for sometime as hundreds of contract workers laid siege to the main gate of the HPCL refinery on Monday demanding adequate compensation to contract employees killed in the blast on August 23, and permanent jobs to their family members.
Led by CITU-affiliated HPCL Contract Workers’ Union, around 4,000 contract workers boycotted their work and blocked entry to the main gate at Malkapuram. This brought traffic on the busy road from Scindia to Sriharipuram and Gajuwaka to a standstill for several hours.
Union honorary president M. Jaggu Naidu told The Hindu that except permanent employees of HPCL and their vehicles, they did not allow anyone inside. Incidentally, the blockade was organised coinciding with the visit of HPCL Chairman and Managing Director S. Roy Choudhury. Mr. Naidu regretted the failure of Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily in announcing any compensation to the persons who sustained severe burns in the blast. They should be given adequate compensation based on the extent of injuries caused to them, he stated. In another development, CPI (M) leader Ch. Narsinga Rao met Mr. Choudhury and submitted a representation to him. He asked the management to find out whether use of LPG in gas cutting led to the blast and thanked the management for the promise to pay compensation to the injured.
After a meeting with HPCL officials, Visakha West MLA Malla Vijaya Prasad said that TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu was trying to politicise the issue at the time of such a tragedy. He said everyone should extend support to HPCL to ensure normalityy and pay more compensation to the dead and injured.
Gajuwaka MLA Ch. Venkataramaiah sought steps to prevent frequent accidents in the refinery.