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Home / Chandigarh / Punjab water supply dept orders probe into Balongi gas leak

Punjab water supply dept orders probe into Balongi gas leak

A report submitted by superintendent engineer, RP Gupta, on Monday said an old cylinder with 5 kg chlorine gas kept at the waterworks for several years had leaked as its insides had rusted.

chandigarh Updated: Jun 08, 2020 23:27 IST
Hillary Victor
Hillary Victor
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A view of the waterworks at Balongi village in Mohali where the leaking cylinder was kept.
A view of the waterworks at Balongi village in Mohali where the leaking cylinder was kept.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

Mohali : A day after chlorine gas leakage from the waterworks facility at Balongi in Kharar led to the hospitalisation of 30 persons, the principal secretary, department of water supply and sanitation, Punjab, Jaspreet Talwar ordered an inquiry into the incident.

In a report submitted by superintendent engineer, RP Gupta, on Monday said an old cylinder with 5 kg chlorine gas kept at the waterworks for several years had leaked as its insides had rusted.

This raises questions about the authorities being unaware of the presence of hazardous material at waterworks and other sites which pose a risk to the life of people living nearby.

“We got to know that most of unused cylinders are lying at various waterworks since 2010 and have asked the officials concerned to remove them immediately. Since the past several years, the department is not using gaseous chlorine and we use liquid sodium hypochlorite for the purpose of chlorination at all waterworks. The problem was all these gas filled cylinders have been kept at the waterworks since years and no one even cared to remove them. Now, I have ordered an inquiry and a senior officer will conduct it and the report will be submitted within a week,” Talwar said.

The leakage caused panic after people living near the waterworks experienced nausea and eye irritation and 30 of them had to be rushed to the Civil Hospital in Phase-6.

The department officials then instructed the officials concerned to remove all such cylinders at the waterworks since 2010.

Giving details of the incident, Sahil Sharma, executive engineer, water supply department, Mohali said after the gas leakage the waterworks operator rushed to the spot, following which fire brigade was called. The cylinder was buried in open ground.

Mohali civil surgeon Dr Manjit Singh had said on Sunday that the people affected by the leak had been stabilised at the hospital.

All of them have now been discharged.

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