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Vizag effect: Set up expert team to inspect chemical units in TN
Anti-Sterlite protesters and social activists have urged the state to constitute an expert committee to inspect all the chemical plants before they commence operation after lockdown ends. The request comes on the heels of the gas leak in Visakhapatnam plant in which more than 10 people died.
“The chemical plants in the state will commence their operation after lockdown, but the state should formulate guidelines for it. An expert committee should be formed to inspect the plants and to check whether the guidelines are followed,” A Shankar, Executive Director, EMPOWER- centre for consumer and environment education, research and advocacy, told DT NEXT.
Due to the leakage of hazardous chemical Styrene from LG Polymers in Visakhapatnam 11 persons have died and more than 5,000 locals were affected. At the time of COVID-19 pandemic the gas leak incident had sent shock waves across the country.
Social activists in the state urged government to make sure that no new chemical plants are permitted in the state and the existing hazardous chemical plants should be closed.
“Like Sterlite Copper there are various hazardous companies operating in the state. State should not permit those companies to operate after the lockdown period ends,” said V Gunaseelan, an anti-Sterlite protester from Udangudi in Thoothukudi district and also a district functionary of Aam Aadmi party.
Gunaseelan also said that when people protested against Sterlite they were branded as anti-nationals, but now after the death of more than 10 persons in Visakhapattnam, people who called them anti-nationals are silent. “At least now the state should take steps to close them,” said Gunaseelan.