The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday took suo motu cognisance on Visakhapatnam gas leak incident and decided to hear the matter on Friday.
The matter titled "In re: Gas Leak at LG Polymers Chemical Plant in RR Venkatapuram Village Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh" will be heard by a bench headed by NGT's chairman AK Goel.
Earlier today, NGO CWEL Foundation founder Banu Bansal moved a petition seeking directions by the NGT for a judicial probe into the Visakhapatnam gas leak incident, in which at least 11 people have lost their lives. The NGO sought directions to constitute a high-level committee headed by a retired Justice and officers not below the rank of joint secretary to prove the gas leakage incident.
"We have filed a petition in the NGT over the Visag gas leak incident," said Gaurav Bansal, advocate for the NGO CWEL Foundation.
He said that they have also sought directions to constitute an independent committee to probe the incident and identify the responsibility of the district, government authorities, company management and pollution control board in the incident.
The petition said that a gas leakage of such a kind shows that officials of the Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board have failed to act in accordance with the letter and spirit of the law of the land adding that it is because of the negligent and careless attitude of the officials that people died in the incident.
"After the leakage of gas allergies were developed in the area, residents are facing breathing issues. Residents fall unconscious after developing breathing complications. Several people in a rush to escape from the mishap fell along the road," the plea said.
"Children are the worst affected due to chemical gas leakage. As per the reports around 82 people have fallen ill and around five districts are worst affected. Crops too have damaged due to impact of gases. Several strays which were tied have also died," it added.
The plea said that it is clear that the State Pollution Control Board, as well as the industrial company, has failed to act in accordance with the law and the said "willful" negligence has resulted into deaths of residents.
Styrene gas had leaked in the gas plant of LG Polymers in RR Venkatapuram village in Visakhapatnam district on Thursday morning which claimed 11 lives.