Fearing that a situation like the horrendous Vizag gas leak incident may reoccur in their area, a large number of residents protested outside a chemical company situated in Jaggayyapet Mandal of Krishna district after experiencing a pungent smell in their surroundings on Saturday.
The residents protested against the firm named MS Greentech, which is a chemical factory which is situated at the border of Ramachandruni Peta and Sher Mohamad peta villages.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) activist present at the protest informed that the women labourers and the children are facing problems while having food due to the smell of the chemical. The odour has become stronger since 4 am on Saturday. He further alleged that even after protesting, nobody from the management has responded to the matter. Pollution Control Board is a total failure and a legal action must be taken by the concerned authorities, he added.
"Women labourers working in fields and children are having problems while having food here due to the smell of the chemicals. In fact, since the start, we have opposed setting up of the factory here near the fields. The odour has become much stronger since 4 am (Saturday). People are afraid that Vizag gas leak incident may occur here as well," said a CPI-M activist.
One of the locals also expressed fear over the spread of pungent smell emanating from the company and said, "We are afraid that Vizag like situation may arise here. We are afraid for our lives. This factory is hardly one a kilometre from our village. Its been two months, we are surviving this bad smell. It is difficult to deal with this."
Gas leaked from LG Polymers chemical plant in RR Venkatapuram village in Visakhapatnam and quickly spread to villages in a five-kilometre radius, killing at least 11 people and impacting about 1,000, many collapsing to the ground as they tried to escape the toxic vapours. Around 2,000 mt tonnes of chemical gas Styrene was leaked, according to sources. Among the dead were two children, aged six and nine, a first-year medical student and two people who fell into a well while fleeing the vapours from the plant, getting ready to reopen after the lockdown. Around 3,000 people were evacuated by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams from Imhachalam, Gopalapatnam, Vepagunta. A total of 1000 people who have come in direct contact with the gas are being treated in hospitals currently.
(With inputs from agency)