Jagan Reddy tells ministers to spend night in villages hit by Vizag gas leak
Around 15,000 villagers, who had been staying put in the relief camps for the last four days, started returning to their villages in the evening after the officials of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation authorities had completed massive sanitation and cleaning drive to restore normalcy in the villages.Updated: May 11, 2020 21:33 IST
Four ministers in the Andhra Pradesh government will spend Monday night in the villages affected by the poisonous Styrene gas vapour that claimed 12 lives in Visakhapatnam on May 7.
Chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy asked the ministers K Kanna Babu, Botsa Satyanarayana, Muthamsetty Srinivasa Rao and Dharmana Krishna Das, who have been supervising the relief operations in the affected villages, to do a night halt in the five villages that were affected by the poisonous gas leak from the LG Polymers plant.
Around 15,000 villagers, who had been staying put in the relief camps for the last four days, started returning to their villages in the evening after the officials of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation authorities had completed massive sanitation and cleaning drive to restore normalcy in the villages.
The chief minister told the ministers that if they spend a night with the villagers, it would instil a lot of confidence among them.
Tourism minister M Srinivasa Rao said the officials completed the cleaning drive to make the villages habitable again. He, however, cautioned the villagers not to use air-conditioners and cook food at home till the experts give clearance.
“The government itself would supply food to the villages for some more time. We shall have a night stay in the villages and assess the situation,” the minister said.
An expert committee, from CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which visited the LG Polymers plant and extensively toured the affected villages, is learnt to have observed that food and water stored by the people in the villages was not fit for consumption because of presence of Styrene residue in them.
The experts’ team, which had a meeting with the high-powered committee of officials constituted by the state government, recommended that vegetables and fruits grown in the surrounding villages should not be consumed and even fodder should not be fed to the cattle.
“The NEERI team suggested that even the local milk products in the area should not be consumed. The open water sources like wells and borewells should not be used for cooking till a final evaluation is done,” an official in the GVMC said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the government distributed cheques for Rs 1 crore to eight out of the 12 families of the deceased in the Vizag gas leak incident on Monday afternoon. The compensation for others would be paid once their legal heirs are identified, minister Kanna Babu said.
He said 13,000 tonnes of Styrene gas stored in a few tanks in Vizag port was being sent back to South Korea.
“The GVMC staff has been creating awareness among the locals about the safety measures after the gas leak and how to dust away the residue,” he said.