Palghar factory blast: NGT directs Maha govt to pay Rs 15 lakh compensation to injured workers

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New Delhi, June 28 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal Monday directed the Maharashtra government to pay a compensation of Rs 15 lakh to workers injured in a blast inside a firecracker factory in Maharashtra's Palghar district.

The NGT also directed the Director of Industrial Safety in coordination with the state pollution control board (SPCB) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to conduct a study of the potential for accidental, occupational and environmental hazards from such activities in the State within three months.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said compensation may be initially paid by Maharashtra through the District Magistrate, Palghar, within one month.

“We request the Maharashtra State Legal Service Authority to provide legal aid to ensure that payment is made to genuine persons without undue hassle. The State will be at liberty to recover the same from the occupier/owner of the premises,” the bench said.

The green panel directed that review be conducted at the highest level in the State to consider remedial steps.

'Hazardous activities need to be regulated in terms of quantity of material to be used in the process of hazardous activities, the number of persons to be allowed to work and safeguards to be followed and monitoring compliance of such safeguards.

'Apart from the measures suggested by the Committee, there is also need for a study of the potential for accidental, occupational and environmental hazards from such activities in the State. The study may include a number of units to be allowed, size of operation of such units, the quantity of material to be used, siting criteria for the location of the units, arrangement for fire management and health services,' the bench said It asked the Chief Secretary, Maharashtra, to hold a meeting with all the concerned stakeholders within one month. After necessary deliberations, appropriate remedial measures be identified to avoid the recurrence of such incidents in future.

'The same may be implemented through the District Magistrate or any other appropriate authority as per law, which may be overseen by the Chief Secretary. The State PCB may incorporate appropriate conditions in consents including prohibiting use of banned chemicals, compliance of Rules,' the bench said.

The order came after taking cognisance of a media report to the effect that 10 workers were injured in a blast inside a firecracker factory in Maharashtra's Palghar district inside the premises of Vishal Fireworks, located at Dehne village about 15 km from Vangaon-Dahanu Road.

According to the report of the District Magistrate, Palghar the incident took place on June 17, 2021, at 10:35 am due to a spark from the welding work which fell on the explosive meant for making firecrackers. The fire was extinguished at 4 pm. PTI PKS SA

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