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NGT accepts expert recommendations on gas leak incidents

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The National Green Tribunal has accepted a report submitted by the five-member credible Expert Committee recommendations to follow SOPs, conduct comprehensive safety and hazard audits, redesign ammonia refrigeration unit, install warm water showers, automatic tripping systems, colour coding of the pipe work containing ammonia, etc to avoid future gas leakage incidents.

The principal bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice Sheo Kumar Singh and Dr. Nagin Nanda noted,

“The statutory regulators must maintain vigilance and carry out safety audits of the concerned establishments to avoid such accidents in future.”

The bench has given its direction in the suo motu cognizance taken by it on the two incidents of ammonia gas leak in the SPY Agro Industries, Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh which occurred in June and August.

Further suggestions to avoid future accidents are

“…ventilation of the CO2 plant and machinery rooms, installation of check valves, relief valves and other equipment at appropriate locations, regular inspections, avoid using galvanized components in ammonia refrigeration systems, employ trained staff, conduct mock drills, install gas censors and alert systems, provide safety equipment to the staff, develop green belt, install firefighting equipments and conduct public awareness.”

The committee found that

“…the causes of accidents are: operational negligence, lack of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), poor ventilation in the machinery room and non-issuance of protective equipment to the employees. There is failure to comply with the safety practices. Immediate cause was improper installation of the valve leading to reverse flow and pressure.”

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The bench while appreciating the task executed by the Committee, disposed of the petition and has directed the order to be sent to MoEF&CC, the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, the State PCB, the District Magistrate, Kurnool, by mail for compliance.

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