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AP units handling hazardous materials need fitness certificate to reopen

On the LG Polymers' unit gas leak on the outskirts of Vishakaptnam on Thursday morning, Andhra Pradesh government has constituted a special committee to investigate into all aspects

twitter-logoE Kumar Sharma | May 7, 2020 | Updated 21:55 IST
AP units handling hazardous materials need fitness certificate to reopen
Chemical gas billows out of LG Polymers facility in Vizag (Photo credit: PTI)

Andhra Pradesh Special Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce) R Karikal Valaven speaking to BusinessToday.In says, instructions have been issued to all 85 units in the state handling hazardous materials to seek fitness certificates before restarting operations. He says, these fitness certificates will need to be taken from the state pollution control board; the director, factories; and from the director, boilers. The last being crucial as problems such as gas leaks, also crop up if there is a fault in the boilers.

On the LG Polymers' unit gas leak on the outskirts of Vishakaptnam on May 7 morning, he says, the state government has constituted a special committee to look into all aspects, including maintenance issues at the plant. The committee is to look at all details and submit a report to the state government. Karikal Valaven tells BusinessToday.In, "We will wait for the committee to come up with the report and then take appropriate action." The unit, he says, was also given around 45 to 50 passes for maintenance during the lockdown period. He says, "On the basis of the committee's report we will look at further regulating all hazardous industries in the state."

ALSO READ:Vizag gas tragedy: Govt asks factories set to reopen to strictly follow safety norms

Karikal Valaven says, the main focus as far as the unit is concerned is to ensure there is no gas emission whatsoever and achieve zero emission. He says, polymerisation inhibitors, needed for zero emission, are on their way to Vizag. The Andhra government is procuring these from a unit in Vapi, Gujarat with active support from the central and the Gujarat governments. The inhibitors are expected to land in Vizag by 6.15 pm on Thursday, May 7. "The focus of the state government at the moment is on containing, evacuating the people and treating the affected. This is our primary focus now," he says. The LG Polymers plant on the outskirts of Vizag had been under shutdown for the last 40 odd days.

Company officials, led locally by P Chandra Mohan Rao, director, operations, at LG Polymers were busy responding to official teams visiting the region, which now has state chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy taking stock of the situation in Vizag.  Earlier, speaking to BusinessToday.in, a senior official in the government, said, one of the explanations being given by the company was that since the unit was shut for a long period, styrene liquid underwent chemical reaction of auto-polymerisation which led to increased pressure on the valve, which in turn burst.

ALSO READ:Vizag gas leak a serious lesson on plant maintenance during coronavirus lockdown

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