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NGT directs companies to deposit compensation for victims in Andhra gas leak incidents

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2020 18:04 IST

New Delhi [India], July 7 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal has directed two companies to deposit compensation to the kin of those who died or were affected in two separate toxic gas leak incidents in Andhra Pradesh. The incidents took place in Visakhapatnam and Kurnool districts.
A NGT bench, headed by its chairperson AK Goel, on Monday asked the two companies to deposit the amount with Visakhapatnam and Kurnool district authorities and slated the matter for further hearing on November 3.
The court was hearing suo moto proceedings based on news reports of June 30 Visakhapatnam factory gas leakage incident and June 26 Kurnool District gas leak incident.
At least two workers had lost their lives and four others were admitted to hospital after benzimidazole gas leaked at the Sainor Life Sciences factory at Parawada in an industrial area on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam on June 30.
One person died and three others were hospitalised after ammonia gas leaked at Spy Agro Industry in the Nandyal area of Kurnool district on June 26.
"We fix the interim compensation to be Rs 5 lakh for each of the four injured. An amount of Rs 20 lakh be deposited with the District Magistrate, Visakhapatnam, within two weeks from today failing which the amount be recovered by the District Magistrate using coercive means," the NGT said in its directions for the first incident.
The bench also observed that while compensation of Rs 35 lakh each has been given to the kin of two deceased, no compensation has been paid to those injured in the incident.
"In view of the report, there is failure of safety practice in the running of the unit on account of which the State Pollution Control Board withdrew the consent for the operation of the industry and directed closure in the interest of public health and the environment," the order said.
The tribunal directed the constitution of a committee comprising representatives of Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Board, Visakhapatnam District Magistrate, and two Professors -- V Rama Chandra Murthy and Pulipati King -- of the Andhra University to assess final compensation to the victims and for the restoration of the environment and suggestions for taking precautions in future.
The NGT said that the committee may give its report within three months.
On the Kurnool district gas leak matter, the NGT directed the Spy Agro Industry to deposit with Kurnool District Magistrate a sum of Rs 15 lakh as interim compensation to the heirs of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh each for the injured within two weeks.
The NGT, in both the matters, observed that the District Magistrate may disburse the amount directly to the injured by transferring it to their bank accounts. (ANI)

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