The district committee of CPI (M) and the CITU criticised the HPCL management for the pomp witnessed at Thursday’s programme held to distribute compensation to the families of victims of August 23 blast and fire.

Where was the need to display pomp and gaiety when the programme should be held in a solemn manner? asked CPI(M) State secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao and honorary president of CITU-affiliated HPCL Contract Workers Union M. Jaggu Naidu. It should have been a simple and open ceremony but was held under the police protection, they regretted.

Families of only 15 out of the 26 contract workers killed in the blast and fire in the cooling tower were paid the compensation of Rs. 20 lakh each but those injured in the blast were not allowed to attend the programme.

They were stopped at the gate. HPCL management had not provided jobs of permanent nature to the families of victims and compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh to the injured it had promised in the past and no action was taken till now against the officials of HPCL responsible for the blast in which many lost their lives and several others injured, they said.

There was a lot of delay in the payment of compensation to the families of the victims and after many agitations by the CPI (M) and CITU, the District Collector fixed the day for December 23 but the distribution was not done because of differences between the Ministers and MPs.

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