APPCB Environmental Engineer Usman Ali Khan says the obnoxious smell was caused by the refinery

Odour from the industrial area was felt in various parts of the city for the second consecutive day on Monday and in response to complaints, the AP Pollution Control Board sent a team to Visakh Refinery of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd to examine its emission levels.

While HPCL stoutly denied its involvement in the pungent smell, APPCB, based on preliminary reports blamed HPCL for not adhering to its directive to cut down its production level. The spread of gaseous emissions led to discomfort in the form of nausea, head-ache, irritation and breathing problems.

APPCB Environmental Engineer Usman Ali Khan told The Hindu that the obnoxious smell was caused by HPCL, which was felt by the people of the city on the beach road and other areas in the morning hours.

The HPCL management said it was wrong to blame them and pointed out that the most probable reason for the odour was non-dispersion of pollutants in winter – whenever the mercury dips by five to seven degree Celsius, aggravated by inversion – a scientifically proved occurrence in Visakhapatnam.