Jolted by the death of 12 persons and hundreds falling sick due to gas leak at LG Polymers factory in Visakhapatnam, the State government has begun the process of transporting 13,000 tonnes of styrene gas in two consignments of 8,000 tonnes and 5,000 tonnes to South Korea.
The remaining gas in the storage tanks of the factory that leaked has been converted to 100% polymer.
Besides, the government is drawing up plans to shift the hazardous industries to places far from cities and towns to avert such accidents in future.
In a review meeting through video-conference on the situation in the areas affected by the gas leak in Vizag, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday asked the officials of industries and factories departments to conduct a safety audit of the industries, particularly those involved in the manufacturing and processing of harmful chemicals, to ensure that incidents like the one at LG Polymers did not repeat.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy emphasised on the need for relocation of hazardous industries and strict compliance with safety protocols stipulated by the Central government.
Visakhapatnam Collector V. Vinay Chand informed the Chief Minister that the danger at LG Polymers plant had subsided as the temperature of the styrene gas had been brought to relatively cool temperature of 73 degrees Celsius. “Around 13,000 tonnes of gas stored in tanks are intact and it is being loaded into two vessels. The process will be completed in around five days,” the Collector said.
Ministers Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao and Botcha Satyanarayana said that ex gratia was paid to the five bereaved families whose legal heirs were finalised and the remaining ones would get the solatium in the coming days. Sanitisation of the villages in the vicinity of the factory has almost been completed, they said.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed the officials to pay ₹10,000 to each resident of the five affected villages irrespective of their age and that the amount be credited to the unencumbered bank accounts of the women in those families.
He also wanted special clinics be set up in the villages and a team of Andhra Medical College (AMC) help the needy.