Staff Reporter

ADILABAD: Following the August 12 chlorine gas leak, Adilabad Municipality seeks to remove encroachments within the premises of the drinking water sump near its office. Nevertheless, it finds the job much more difficult today as the unauthorised banana market has grown into a local commercial hub.

About 20 unauthorised banana units have sprung inside the premises and an equal number of banana and other shops have come up along the perimeter of the facility. Any future gas leak from the huge liquefied chlorine gas (LCG) cylinders will first target the scores of people working in these places and the plethora of their customers. At any given time, some three 900 kg cylinders of LCG are kept in the open near the sump unit and in the filter beds also. Four years back a LCG leak in the filter beds had injured three persons. Fortunately, only the three water works employees were affected then because entry of common people was restricted there.

The large open spaces inside the premises of the drinking water sump come in very handy for the heavy vehicles that bring in raw banana loads from other places. The raw bananas are ripened in the large kilns here that occupy considerable space themselves.

The Municipality now wants to prohibit the entry of unauthorised persons inside the premises. For doing so, it needs to construct a proper compound wall after removing the encroachments.

“The owners of the encroaching banana units are not ready to leave the place despite the threat to their lives. Our promise of rehabilitating them in the proposed shopping complex along the perimeter did not draw favourable reaction either. In order to prevent any future tragedy from chlorine leaks we have prepared a plan,” revealed Municipal Engineer S. Jagan Mohan Rao.

On the suggestion of Adilabad MLA C. Ramchander Reddy, Municipal authorities will approach the Collector and Superintendent of Police seeking their intervention in this regard.