After severe criticism by CPI (M) and few others, HPCL will finally disburse the compensation amount to the relatives of contract workers killed in the cooling tower blast at Visakh Refinery at the rate of Rs.20 lakh per family on Thursday.

Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi will hand over the compensation amount at a meeting to be held at Waltair Park. Senior HPCL officials will attend the meeting.

Though HPCL had deposited the total amount towards compensation to the families of the 26 contract workers who died in the August 23 blast with the district authorities, it could not be released so far due to technical problems.

CPI (M) State secretariat member Ch. Narsinga Rao last week slammed HPCL management for not releasing the amount for such a long time. He also came down heavily on the HPCL management for not keeping Union Minister’s Veerappa Moily’s promise to pay an ex gratia of Rs.1 crore to the wife of Ch. Murali, an executive who died in the blast.

Instead of ex gratia of Rs.1 crore on behalf of HPCL, his statutory benefits were also included in the amount paid to the wife of late Murali, Mr. Rao pointed out.

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