Forum for Better Visakha convener and former IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma has reiterated his concern over storage of ammonium nitrate in the city following Mumbai serial blasts.
With the suspicion that the terrorists might have used ammonium nitrate to trigger the improvised explosive devices, Mr. Sarma regretted that his repeated representations to the Home Ministry, the National Security Agency and the State Government to take action against storage of the explosive material had fallen on deaf ears.
He had stressed on the need to exercise close surveillance over import, storage, inland transportation and retail distribution of ammonium nitrate in view of the potential security threat it posed.
On the delay in legislation, he wondered whether the law on ammonium nitrate had been expedited in view of the last Mumbai blasts a few years ago and the series of the blasts taking place elsewhere.
Disaster preparedness was certainly not making token statements following these incidents but drawing lessons from the previous incidents, he said.
He appealed to the Home Ministry again to do something tangible in the direction of defining ammonium nitrate as an `explosive' and putting in place a system to regulate its movement.
Through Visakhapatnam Port, more than 1,00,000 tonne of ammonium nitrate was imported, stored at illegal locations and transported without much surveillance.