TDP slams YSRC on Vizag gas leak, accuses govt of being lenient with LG Polymers
The TDP has accused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government of adopting a soft approach towards the company, with the YSRC digging out past records to prove that it was the previous TDP government led by N Chandrababu Naidu which had allocated extra land to the company to expand its capacity.Updated: May 09, 2020 20:05 IST
The leakage of the toxic Styrene vapour from LG Polymers India Ltd at Visakhapatnam which claimed 12 lives has led to a political slugfest between the opposition Telugu Desam Party and the ruling YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh.
The TDP has accused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government of adopting a soft approach towards the company, with the YSRC digging out past records to prove that it was the previous TDP government led by N Chandrababu Naidu which had allocated extra land to the company to expand its capacity. The previous TDP government had also given consent for operations without obtaining proper environmental clearance.
On Saturday, the TDP president dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rope in national and international health experts for assessment of the health of the people affected by the gas leakage from the LG Polymers firm.
Expressing doubts over the content of the gas leaked from the plant, Naidu pointed out that though the company claimed that the gas that had leaked was Styrene, there were also reports of other toxic gases being in it.
The TDP chief had earlier demanded that the LG Polymers be closed forthwith pending investigation. He also lashed out at chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for not taking action against the company till date.
“Filled with fear, people of Vizag are sleeping on the roads. Local residents are protesting on the streets for justice. Bereaved families are weeping alongside the bodies of their loved ones. Not a single arrest made nor a single asset seized. Where is @ysjagan? #VizagDemandsJustice,” he tweeted.
Senior TDP lawmaker K Atchen Naidu, who called on the affected people in King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam, demanded that the Jagan government put pressure on LG Polymers to pay a compensation of Rs 10 crore to each of the families of the deceased.
“We thought Jagan would deal with the company firmly, but he was soft on them after meeting the company representatives in the Visakhapatnam airport,” the TDP leader alleged.
Meanwhile, the YSRC has revealed that it was the Chandrababu Naidu government which had, in January 2017, given the consent for operation for LG Polymers till December 31, 2021. The company also got the approval for expansion of its manufacturing capacity from 415 tonnes per day to 655 tonnes per day in 213 acres of land allotted by the government at a capital cost of Rs 168 crore.
The ruling party also revealed a government order issued in August 2015, which sought to de-notify 128.24 acres of land from the purview of Simhachalam Temple administration and allot it to LG Polymers. This piece of temple land was allotted to the company’s original promoter Hindustan Polymers Ltd in 1964, but it got into a dispute later.
The YSRC reminded that in June 2018, when Naidu was in power, the AP Pollution Control Board had given hazardous waste disposal authorization which is valid till April 30, 2023.
It also pointed out that the company had gone in for expansion without obtaining environmental clearance during the TDP regime in 2018 itself. Following the objections from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, it had submitted an affidavit admitting its violation in May 2019, the ruling party said.
Minister for municipal administration Botsa Satyanarayana reminded that it was Naidu, who had announced during the Partnership Summit in 2018 that LG Polymers was going in for expansion.
“He was the person who had colluded with the company. We have already declared that stern action would be taken against the company, if the high-powered committee made such a recommendation,” he said.