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NGT constitutes expert committee to look into Rourkela Steel Plant gas leak matter

ANI | Updated: Feb 15, 2021 23:06 IST

New Delhi [India], February 15 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the constitution of an expert committee comprising the Ministry of Environment, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and the Odisha Pollution Control Board (PCB) to look into the matter of suspected toxic gas leak in Rourkela Steel Plant on January 6.
The bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel in an order passed on February 11, said that the committee may co-opt two other industrial safety experts.
"CPCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. The CPCB may take into account earlier expert committee reports on the subject of industrial safety, including reports in recent accidents mentioned earlier, to the extent relevant, and suggest measures to be adopted for avoiding such accidents in the future," the NGT stated.

The NGT order said the committee may consider the failures leading to the incident, if any, after visiting the site and considering the viewpoint of all stakeholders, particularly compliance with the requirement of onsite and offsite emergency plans and conducting mock drills.
Proceedings in the matter have been initiated on the basis of a media report that said, "Four workers dead due to toxic gas leak in Rourkela Steel Plant", to the effect that there was leakage of toxic gas at the Coal Chemicals Department of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) on the morning of January 6, the tribunal noted.
"The workers of 'Star Constructions', a maintenance contractor firm, were taken ill around 9 am, following such leak. They were rushed for treatment to the OHS Centre inside the plant and later moved to the Intensive Care Unit at Ispat General Hospital. They died while undergoing treatment the same day. The workers were engaged in maintenance work at the coal chemicals unit when the incident took place. The deceased were identified as Ganesh Chandra Paila, Rabindra Sahu, Brahmananda Panda, and Abhimanyu Sahu," noted the Tribunal.
Earlier, NGT had sought a response from the authorities of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), asking them to submit a report over the leakage of gas.
At least four workers died and six others fell ill due to suspected toxic gas leakage at the coal chemical unit of the Rourkela Steel Plant in Odisha on January 6 morning. A high-level committee was also formed to inquire into the cause of the incident and all emergency protocols have been immediately activated in the plant. (ANI)