Visakhapatnam: The chairman of the committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Seshasayana Reddy along with members PJ Rao and Ramchandra Murthy received petitions from the public, NGOs and political parties with regard to LG Polymers disaster on Friday.

The members visited the LG Polymers factory premises and inquired into the mishap. After making brief inspection of the tankers that contained styrene, the members interacted with the LG Polymers officials.

“We will submit the ground report to the chairman on Saturday,” said member of the panel Prof P Jagannadha Rao, Chemical Engineering department, AU College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam.

Prof Rao said that the chairman might visit the factory and talk to the people who were affected by the styrene gas on Saturday.

Earlier, the chairman interacted with the CPI State council member JV Satyanarayana Murthy and CPM State leaders Ch Narsinga Rao and Dr B Gang Rao. Both the parties submitted a comprehensive petition in which they demanded the arrest of management representatives as per the
previous judgments of the Supreme Court, shifting of the factory from the human habitat and a good hospital for lifelong treatment of the people living around the factory.

Ch Narsainga Rao of CPM said many studies have been conducted on occupational exposure by workers in plants using styrene. The styrene concentrations that cause these effects are usually more than 1,000 times higher than the levels normally found in the environment, i.e. around 4 ppm or higher.

As per the US Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), legal limit of worker exposure is 100 ppm styrene in air averaged over an 8-hour work day. Occasional leakages inside factories are expected to result in exposure to concentrations of around 20-50 ppm. But this leakage is of more magnitude and consequently will have wider long lasting consequences, Rao told the chairman.

The imported Styrene is stored at East India Petroleum Ltd, Visakhapatnam before transported to LG Polymers. It is learnt that in East India petroleum also there is no any inbuilt safety system.

Under Public Insurance Liability Act, 1991, the owners of the company have to compulsorily take out insurance policies for an insurance of Rs 5 crores, and another Rs 5 crores under Public Liability Industrial Policy both are with The New India Assurance Company and total amount can be paid by the management to victims as decided by the District Collector. This should be paid in addition to the amount of One crore for each deceased family as announced by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

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