Vizag Gas Leak: NGT slaps Rs 50 cr interim penalty on LG Polymers India, issues notice to Centre

NGT ordered LG Polymers India Pvt to send an interim amount of Rs 50 Crore for life loss.

The National Green Tribunal imposed a provisional penalty of Rs 50 Crore on LG Polymers India and demanded a report from the Center and others on Friday in the gas leak incident in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, claiming “there appears to have been a failure to comply with certain rules and other legislative provisions.”

NGT Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, arranged a 5-member committee to investigate the gas leak incident throughout the chemical factory on Thursday, wherein 11 people died and 1,000 exposed.

The styrene gas leakage incident occurred Thursday at 3 am at a chemical plant in the village of RR Venkatapuram, Gopalapatnam Mandal in Visakhapatnam District. The surrounding villages were affected, namely Narava, BC Colony, Kampalapalem, Bapuji Nagar, and Krishna Nagar.

“Information relating to the prima facie material concerning the nature of the harm to life, community health, and the environment, we direct LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd to immediately deposit with those of the District Magistrate, Vishakhapatnam, a principal amount of Rs 50 crore, that will also abide by further orders of such a tribunal. The number is set depending on the company’s financial value and the magnitude of the damage caused,” the bench said.

The NGT sent notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, L G Polymers India, Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, Central Pollution Control Board, Vishakhapatnam District Magistrate, and requested their reply before another hearing date, May 18.

The committee includes former AP High Court judge Justice B Seshasayana Reddy; Professor Pulipati King, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Andhra University; V Rama Chandra Murthy, former Vice Chancellor, Andhra University, Vizag; CPCB Member President, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Chief, and NEERI Head in Vizag.

The committee is expected to send reports on sequence of events, reasons of failure and concerned persons and authorities, degree of harm to life among others.

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