Vizag woke up to a morning of horror as a lethal gas leaked from the LG Polymers Plant, on 7 May. The gas leak had affected RR Venkatapuram and its surrounding areas. In the wake of the tragedy, the Andhra Pradesh State Government constituted a High Power Committee to probe into the cause behind the gas leak and to take stock of the recovery steps being taken in response to the incident in Vizag.
The committee had detailed discussions with Visakhapatnam District Collector, V Vinay Chand on 9th May 2020. The Visakhapatnam District Collector briefed about the incident, evacuation operations and the details related to the immediate response after the accident. The Committee attended the meeting conducted by the Andhra Pradesh State Ministers and the Chief Secretary along with all the senior officials.
Thereafter the committee had detailed discussions with the Director of Indian Institute Petroleum Engineering (IIPE), Visakhapatnam and Professor of Organic Chemistry (Retd.). This was followed by interaction, with the Director, Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun and industry Styrene expert from Mumbai, after their factory visit. The Industry Styrene expert was specially deputed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). All the immediate action plans and understanding of the cause of the gas leak, and its implications, were discussed in great detail during the meeting in Vizag.
On 10 May 2020, the High Power Committee visited the plant and closely examined the industry premises. A detailed examination was done at the storage tank site, the control room and the factory premises. Discussions were also held with the top officials available in the factory covering all aspects of the accident and the subsequent events.
The High Power Committee also held discussions with the representatives of the local NGOs, environmentalists, public health activists, the industry associations, CII, AP Chapter FAPCI, Federation of Andhra Pradesh Small and Medium Industries Association, and AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation.
The views and opinions of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA), and all the other concerned departments in Visakhapatnam district were heard by the Committee. On 11 May 2020, the committee elicited the views of the NDRF team, the NEERI team and the Health team in the relief operations. Further, the committee also held deliberations with three environmental and scientific experts in the field.
The High Power Committee will continue taking the expert opinions and views of all relevant departments and organisations. It is planned for further detailed interaction with the affected group in a few days. The Committee further requests all the interested individuals to send their inputs at [email protected]