Andhra Pradesh

Clamour for LG Polymers’ plant closure grows louder

Many were hospitalised following a gas leak from LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam early on May 7, 2020.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Clamour for the closure of LG Polymers plant is growing with people from various walks seeking closure of the company for criminal negligence.

CITU State president Ch. Narsinga Rao squarely blamed the management for the major accident and sought prosecution of senior officials for the fatal accident and action against officials who accorded the clearances to the company to go ahead with the expansion.

‘Reminds of 1997 HPCL Refinery accident’

INTUC leaders Mantri Rajasekhar and Neerukonda Ramachandra Rao expressed shock at the major accident and demanded the government immediately shutdown the unit and take action against the management and the officials concerned for the fatal accident. “The incident again refreshed the memory of HPCL Visakha Refinery vapour cloud explosion which had killed at least 60 people in 1997,” he said.

Former Minister and TDP leader Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy said despite repeated industrial accidents, LG Polymers was being given preferential treatment by the authorities in getting all the clearances to operate its unit in the city and go for expansion. “A survey should be conducted on all hazardous industries in Visakhapatnam and take steps to close them to prevent recurrence of such accidents,” he said.

“Pungent smell and magnitude of the accident itself typified the criminal negligence on the part of the management and the unit should be closed,” senior BJP leader N. Vishnu Kumar Raju said.

‘Silent management’

Former MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao said the management had not yet taken up responsibility for the accident and did not bother to provide rescue and relief operations for the victims.

CPI (M) city president B. Ganga Rao said the unit should be closed immediately and a safety audit should be conducted on all the industries in the city.

Social activist and former IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma demanded severe action against the management and wondered how the foreign company operating in India conducted its operations “so casually and carelessly” at a time when nationwide lockdown was being enforced.

‘Easing business’

He said foreign companies like this one were moving into India as the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in the name of “easing business” was progressively relaxing the environment clearance procedures and encouraging polluting industries to set shop in the country.

Mr. Sarma demanded as to who would pay for the adverse health impact on the workers and the people in the vicinity. He said both IPC proceedings and a heavy civil penalty were called for criminal neglect on the part of the management. “Why was the company was given NOC two years ago to expand despite failure to comply with environmental norms?” he asked

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 7:19:25 PM |

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