Visakhapatnam: Vizag’s Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. (HSL) has agreed to pay ex-gratia of Rs. 50 lakh each to the families of 10 persons who were killed in a crane mishap on Saturday. The company has also offered contractual employment to one member of each family.

State tourism minister M. Srinivasa Rao, accompanied by the families of the victims, local MLA Tippala Nagi Reddy, and leaders of all trade unions met the chairman and managing director of HSL, Mr. Sharat Babu, on 2 August.

The minister said Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy had instructed him and the collector V. Vinay Chand to ensure justice for the families and arrive at a settlement. He said the government had expressed serious concerns over the accident and asked officials to maintain safety standards to prevent such fatal accidents.

“The city is home to several public sector undertakings, SEZs, pharma city, and small and medium industries. We are concerned about the safety standards,’’ he said, adding that recently, revenue officials, the police, and officials of the industries department had met representatives of various industries and asked them to give top priority to safety.

He said Opposition parties, particularly Telugu Desam Party led by its president N. Chandrababu Naidu, are issuing negative statements to tarnish the image of Vizag, which has become the executive capital after the Governor approved the three-capitals Bill. They are trying to politicise industrial accidents, the minister alleged.

Meanwhile, the CMD, Mr. Sharat Babu, said, “We did the best with the funds the company has at present. All the victims have been paid ex-gratia equally and one member of their family will be employed at HSL based on their qualification.”

He also claimed that this was the first accident in the history of the Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. The crane, that has the capacity to carry 70 tons, was on a trial run and the mishap took place when the final trial was being conducted, he added.

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