Stringent action will be taken against LG Polymers: Andhra CM
Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday asserted that stringent action would be taken against the South Korean firm, LG Polymers India Ltd, whose alleged negligence led to the leak of toxic styrene gas from its plant at Visakhapatnam on May 7, claiming 12 lives and over 500 people falling sick.
While, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which was scheduled to conduct a hearing on the Visakhapatnam gas tragedy on Monday, deferred it to June 1 as the experts’ committee, which was constituted by the NGT, sought more time to submit its report.
The expert appraisal committee of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will conduct a separate hearing in New Delhi on Tuesday over reports that LG Polymers had been operating its plant without obtaining the mandatory green nod from the ministry for expanding its capacity from 415 tonnes per day (TPD) to 655 TPD.
CM Reddy, who held a video conference with the officials and some of those affected by the gas leak, said that the South Korean firm would be held responsible for the tragedy, and action would be taken against its errant employees.
“We’ve appointed committees at district and state-level, respectively. The Centre, too, has appointed three panels. We’ll seek explanations from the company after the panels submit their separate reports. We’ll take appropriate action based on the company’s response. We’ll give the firm a week’s time to respond,” the CM said.
He said the company, which was given permission during the previous N. Chandrababu Naidu regime to operate, would not be allowed to function. We’ve ensured that the raw material styrene gas, which caused the industrial disaster, is sent back to South Korea,” the CM said.
LG Polymers on Monday announced that it had successfully shipped Styrene Monomer (SM) inventory from its plant in Visakhapatnam to Seoul.
The firm’s managing director (MD), Jeong Sunkey, said no styrene gas is left at the plant.
“We’re trying to ascertain the cause of the accident, prevent its re-occurrence, and most importantly provide assistance to the families of the deceased and injured,” the MD said.
The company’s immediate focus is to provide assistance to the people living in and around the plant and help them restart their normal lives at the earliest, he added.
The MD informed that a team of technical experts from the company’s headquarters at Seoul had arrived at Visakhapatnam to take part in the rehabilitation process.
“We’ve commissioned a special task force consisting of more than 200 people to support the affected families,” he added.