The National Green Tribunal has formed a committee to ascertain the cause of the fire that broke out at a chemical company in Pune district in which 18 people were killed and work out the compensation required for loss of lives and injuries as well as the damage to the environment.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel formed the 5-member joint committee comprising of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Maharashtra state pollution control board (SPCB), Director Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) Maharashtra, Pune District Magistrate and IIT Bombay (Chemical Engineering Department).
The fire broke out at SVS Aqua Technologies which manufactures chlorine dioxide among other chemicals and is located in the Pirangut MIDC area of Mulshi tehsil on the outskirts of Pune city.
"The committee will ascertain the cause of the incident, persons responsible, the extent of damage caused, the extent of compensation required to be paid for damage to the environment as well as for loss of lives, or the injuries and steps required to be taken for preventing any such occurrence in future on the same pattern as the tribunal has dealt with such incidents in the recent past," the bench said.
The NGT directed the committee to visit the site preferably within next two weeks and give its report within three months by email.
"Simultaneously, the report may also be uploaded on the website of the State PCB to enable the concerned stakeholders to access the same and file their response, if any. Except for visit to the site at least once, the Committee will be free to conduct its proceedings online.
"It will be free to take the assistance from any other expert/organization. The Committee may suitably interact with the stakeholders and, apart from considering the present incident, also consider remedial measures for preventing such incidents in the area or by other establishments even beyond the said area," the bench said.
The Committee may compile information about existence and working of onsite and offsite plans in terms of 1989 Rules and conducting of mock drills and safety SOPs, number of such units in the area and the carrying capacity of the area to sustain the same, the tribunal said.
The matter is listed for next hearing on November 9.
The direction came after taking cognisance of a media report stating that 18 workers, mostly women, were killed in a fire that broke out at a chemical firm in village Urawade, Tal. Mulshi, Pune on June 7.
The factory is registered with the Department of Industrial Safety and Health and has a capacity of 48 workers.
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