Visakhapatnam: A day after a gas leak in Vizag left 12 dead and over 400 sick, the Andhra Pradesh government, on 8 May, constituted a five-member high-power committee to probe into the causes behind the styrene gas leak at the LG Polymer plant at RR Venkatapuram in Vizag. The committee will take stock of the recovery steps being initiated and submit its final report within a month.

Chief secretary Nilam Sawhney, on Friday, issued the government order to form the committee and laid down its terms of reference. The committee will be headed by Neeraj Kumar Prasad, the special chief secretary (EFS&T department), and will have Karikal Valaven, the special chief secretary (industries), Visakhapatnam district collector Vinay Chand, Visakhapatnam commissioner of police R.K Meena as members and Vivek Yadav, member secretary of the state pollution control board, as member convenor.

The committee will try to ascertain the exact reasons behind the gak leak at the plant and also verify if LG Polymers had adhered to all safety protocols. It will study the long-term effects of styrene on the surrounding villages, including RR Venkatapuram, SC Colony, BC Colony, Naiduthota, and Gopalapatnam. The committee will recommend action to be taken against the industrial unit in case of any negligence.

After the study, the committee will suggest measures to be taken by industry units, like safety audits, to prevent such mishaps in the future. Any observations and suggestions for similar industrial plants will also be included in the report. The APPCB has been directed to assist the committee in preparing the report.

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