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NGT directs CPCB, Environment Ministry to issue guidelines for conducting safety audits for industrial accidents

ANI | Updated: Jun 16, 2021 13:24 IST

New Delhi [India], June 16 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Ministry of Environment in coordination with other concerned authorities to consider issuing appropriate guidelines for conducting safety audits and taking other remedial measures throughout India in respect of industrial accidents.
"We also direct CPCB and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in coordination with other concerned authorities to consider issuing appropriate guidelines for conducting safety audits and taking other remedial measures throughout India in the light of present report as well as other recent reports in respect of industrial accidents so as to prevent such incidents and to save human lives and health," said the NGT's bench headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.
The NGT bench also sought an 'action taken report' by the Chief Secretary of Gujarat after asking to hold a joint meeting with the District Magistrate of Bharuch, the Director Industrial, Safety, the Member Secretary, State PCB and the GIDC within one month.
The NGT said that the Chief Secretary may ensure that all the remedial measures have been adopted in terms of the report.
"The action taken report may include the status of risk-policies taken by the industries to cover health and safety risks of persons engaged or likely to be affected and compliance of 1989 and 1996 Rules. The action taken report may also mention the remedial measures taken in respect of 11 other units mentioned in the report," the NGT said.

"It is thus clear that there are violations in following requisite safety protocols and monitoring and absence of adequate health facilities in the vicinity. Learned Counsel for the Project Proponent fairly stated that the unit in question will follow all the recommendations of the Committee including payment of compensation for the damage to the environment, remedying the inadequacies in the infrastructure and all safety precautions for the future. Entire safety aspects will be reviewed in terms of SOP, HAZOP, Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Assessment and other gaps identified by the Committee," the NGT said.
The NGT noted that there are several recent incidents in the course of industrial activities on account of a gas leak, blast, and fire.
The court was hearing issues related to a blast and major fire at the UPL Ltd, Jhagadia in Gujarat's Bharuch, which claimed two lives and injured 26 in February. The Tribunal had also noticed that in the recent past, 12 other incidents had taken place and it has been found that in most of the cases the safety norms have been breached in operating the industrial activities. The NGT constituted a four-member joint committee comprising of the CPCB, State PCB, DISH, and the District Magistrate, Bharuch to give a report to this tribunal.
Accordingly, a joint committee visited the unit in March and interacted with some of the concerned officials present on duty on the day of the accident in the unit, representatives of the unit, collected various available reports and records from the unit.
The Committee has filed its report on March 17. The report shows that the Committee visited the site, interacted with the personnel of the unit, calculated compensation and assessed the safety preparations of the unit. Based on site visits and deliberations, the Committee has given its findings on factual aspects of the cause of the accident and remedial measures by the unit and the regulatory authorities.
The Committee has also made recommendations for safeguards that need to be adopted to prevent such incidents in the future. (ANI)