Constitute expert committee to probe Vizag gas leak; decide compensation on basis of impact, says Chandrababu Naidu

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], May 8 (ANI): Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday said that the state and central governments should constitute an expert committee to investigate the gas leak incident at a chemical plant near Visakapatanam, which claimed the lives of 12 people and hospitalised over 300 people.

He also said that compensation should be decided on the basis of impact- short, medium or long term impact on the locals.

"This is a very unfortunate incident... There is no scientific evidence as of today (regarding) what is the impact on health - short, medium, and long term. That is why we are demanding the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Government of India to constitute an expert committee to go through all the details and determine through scientific data any lapses, either technical or manual, all these things have to be established. Those found guilty should be punished very seriously," Naidu said.

He added, "Compensation has to be decided on the basis of impact. What is the impact - short term, medium-term or long-term. On the basis of that, they have to decide compensation. If they won't do that, if they treat this as usual, then tomorrow there will be some effect on health, who will be held responsible? There must be an expert committee to go through all these things. On the basis of that, compensation and treatment for health - preventive and future - both have to be taken up."

While speaking to ANI, Naidu said, "It is a serious issue. What is the impact on health nobody knows, there is no document evidence. First of all we have to establish that... NDRF chief has made it very clear, this gas is dangerous. If it is true, then we have to dealt differently. I do not want to create a panic situation among people. Under the same time, we have to take all precautions, otherwise, there will be problems in future. You cannot play with their lives."

Slamming Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for his response to the tragedy, Naidu said what the latter did was "totally wrong."

"He didn't go through proper investigation or proper details how it happened, ultimately it is superficial. He announced Rs 1 crore (ex-gratia), and also Rs10,000, Rs 1 lakh or Rs 10 lakhs like that, it is not correct," he said.

"The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has made it very clear to deposit Rs 50 crores immediately. The High Court has taken suo moto. Human Rights Commission has taken the case. Even the Prime Minister has taken seriously, So, in that angle, it has to be dealt, not diluting the total investigation. It is very unfortunate that the Chief Minister did not have a proper review," Naidu stated.

The TDP chief went on to add, "... if you see Prime Minister, he held a review with high-level committee, Defence Minister, Home Minister, Cabinet Secretary and respective officials... The Chief Minister did not do that."

Naidu said that when Reddy landed in Visakhapatnam it was correct to meet the representatives of the industry. "First of all he has to see the site, he has to see the victims and obtain information on the basis of that he should have responded. He also praised the company... All that was not required here, the main issue is that 12 people died, how many people suffered that is important."

Naidu also stated that on Thursday night "because of administration failure there was a panic situation at Visakhapatnam."

"All these things government has to dealt with some more precautions and some more responsibility," he stated.

On Thursday, styrene gas had leaked in the gas plant of LG Polymers in RR Venkatapuram village in Visakhapatnam district. (ANI)