The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, sanctioned emergency access to 30 employees of LG Polymers India Ltd to supervise its plant in Vizag. Earlier, on Sunday, the Andhra Pradesh High Court issued an order to seize the plant in Vizag, following a styrene gas leak that killed eleven people and affected five nearby villages, in this month. In further orders, the HC stated that none of the directors working at LG Polymers is allowed to travel out of India until further notice.
Challenging the High Court orders, LG Polymers, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, presented the issue at the Supreme Court. The senior advocate submitted that a complete seizure of plant/premises will have adverse consequences. Mr Rohatgi informed that polymer kept in the factory were in various stages of manufacture. Their exposure would lead to toxicity, he added. He further mentioned that without supervision, the temperature of the plant can go beyond 25 degree Celsius which might have ill-effects.
After hearing the plea, the bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, MM Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran, decided to permit the petitioner to give a list of 30 personnel, who will be granted emergency access to the plant. Upon such names being given to Visakhapatnam district Collector, those persons shall be afforded access to the plant round-the-clock to maintain adequate safety measures, the bench further added. The SC declared that this interim arrangement would continue till the Andhra Pradesh High Court considers the issue.
Following the gas leak incident in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh State Government took necessary measures to mitigate the damage caused. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, flew down to Vizag on the day the tragedy had hit the city and took stock of the relief and rehabilitation activities. Visakhapatnam district authorities worked round the clock in and around the plant to reduce the poisonous effect of the dangerous gas. The Andhra Pradesh government had granted an exgratia of Rs 1 crore to the families of those who were killed in the gas leak mishap. Sanitation drives were conducted in the villages affected by the gas leak in Vizag. Furthermore, special teams constituting experts in pulmonology, gastroenterology, neurology, and pediatrics are deployed to provide medical care to the survivors residing in these five affected villages.