Chhattisgarh's opposition Congress on Thursday demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government act against London-based Vedanta Resources Plc chairman Anil Agarwal over a chimney collapse that left 40 construction workers dead last September at the Korba power plant of the Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (Balco) that is controlled by him.
"The BJP government is shying away from acting against Agarwal (whose company owns 51 per cent stake in Balco)," Congress General Secretary Ramesh Varlyani told IANS.
The Congress raised the issue in the assembly on Wednesday and demanded action against Agarwal, saying that Vedanta-controlled Balco was constructing the 257-metre chimney on encroached government land at Korba, 240 km from state capital Raipur.
"Since Agarwal heads the company, in which the government of India holds 49 per cent stake, the state government must act against him for the incident," Varlyani said.
He added that his party would continue to raise the issue in the assembly till the government initiates action against Agarwal.
Government officials say Balco had awarded Chinese firm Shandong Electric Power Construction Corp (SEPCO) the task of constructing two thermal power plants of 600 MW each at Korba. Later, SEPCO outsourced the construction of a 257-metre chimney to Gannon Dunkerley and Company Limited (GDCL). The chimney crumbled Sep 23 when it was 225 metres high.
Police have arrested seven people - three Chinese engineers employed with SEPCO, three BALCO officials, including its vice president Viral Mehta, and GDCL project manager Manoj Sharma.