Ammonia gas leak in AP: NGT directs Kurnool admin to take remedial steps to restore environment

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New Delhi, Jan 10 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has directed the Kurnool administration in Andhra Pradesh to take remedial steps to restore the damage caused to the environment due to ammonia gas leak incident at Nandyal.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel accepted the recommendation of an expert committee which monitored the ammonia levels surrounding the area near SPY Agro Industries where the incident took place on June 26, 2020.

The committee told the tribunal that the main cause for the incident is failure to comply with safety practices and the employees and management of the unit, both are responsible for the leakage.

'We find the report to be based on sound reasoning and material and objections of the establishment are merely self serving and without any sound basis,' the bench said.

'Accordingly, we accept the report and direct the establishment to take remedial steps in terms of the said recommendations to be overseen by the statutory regulators,' it said.

The NGT said the statutory regulators must maintain vigilance and carry out safety audits of the establishments concerned to avoid such incidents in future.

'We are unhappy to note frequent avoidable accidents resulting in loss of life and damage to the environment on account of failure to follow the prescribed safety norms and lack of adequate monitoring by the statutory regulators,' the tribunal said.

The tribunal said by and large there is non-compliance to follow safety norms by the industries dealing with the hazardous chemicals, in spite of there being statutorily prescribed norms under the rules.

The ammonia gas leak accident at Nandyal in Kurnool district in SPY Agro Industries took place on June 26 and resulted in the death of one person and injured three workers.

The green panel had directed that Spy Agro to deposit Rs 15 lakh as an interim compensation for the heirs of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh each for the injured to the Kurnool district magistrate. PTI PKS SNE