A day after three industrial disasters rocked the nation amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the central air pollution watchdog on Friday directed states to make sure that all items, manufacturing or storing hazardous chemical substances, undertake a correct security and hazard audit earlier than resuming operations.
The Central Pollution Control Board in its letter to state air pollution management boards (SPCB) and air pollution management committees (PCC) directed that each one such items ought to resume operations solely after the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Some serious cases of chemical leakages, industrial mishaps have been reported recently. In view of this all state pollution control boards (SPCBs) and pollution control committees should ensure immediate compliance of a proper safety and hazard audit should be undertaken by all units before resuming operation.
“The SPCB/PCC shall direct all of the items that manufacture, retailer or import hazardous chemical substances to renew their operations after COVID-19 lockdown, solely after they’ve taken sufficient and essential steps to forestall the incidence of any chemical leakage/accident,” it said.
India witnessed three industrial accidents on Thursday. The first one, a gas leak in LG Polymer Plant at R Venkatapuram village near Andhra Pradesh’s Vishakhapatnam, claimed 11 lives and left at least 1,000 people sick.
In a similar tragedy, seven people fell ill when they inhaled toxic gas at a paper mill factory in Chhattisgarh. Both these factories were getting ready to reopen after the lockdown.
In another incident, eight people received burn injuries in a boiler blast at a thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu.
In its letter to the states, the CPCB said that the SPCBs/PCCs shall ensure that pollution control equipment, effluent treatment plants including safety equipment and its machineries shall be kept in good operable conditions before resuming operation in present COVID-19 situation.
“They shall be sure that all items take utmost care in dealing with hazardous chemical substances through the use of educated manpower. They shall intently monitor the state of affairs and be sure that the environmental norms are usually not violated by any unit,” the highest air pollution physique stated