Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding gas leak at Porus Laboratories Private Limited, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, 03/08/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re: News item published in Hindustan Times dated 03.06.2022 titled “178 women workers fall ill after gas leak in Andhra’s Visakhapatnam”.

Proceedings were initiated suo-moto in view of a report to the effect that there was a gas leak at Porus Laboratories Private Limited, Visakhapatnam affecting the health of 178 women workers.

Submission filed by the NGO 'Scientists for People' in its report to the court said that gas released in the present case is from Seeds Intimate Apparel Factory and Porus Lab in Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) SEZ, exposing 369 women workers to ammonia. There is also a probability of incident on account of handling of viscose fabric for innerwear. NGO has accordingly, suggested a scientific study.

Stand of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is that according to version of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board, gas leak is from M/s Brandix Apparel India Ltd. and not from Porus Lab Private Limited.

 Stand of Porus Laboratories Private Limited is that no leakage has taken place from its premises.

While Brandix India Apparel City has submitted that the source of leakage is not from its unit.

The NGT directed a six member joint committee to visit the site and interact with the stakeholders and victims to ascertain factual position. The Committee should ascertain the cause of the incident and suggest measures to prevent such incidents. It may mark areas prone to such incidents and vulnerable industries so as to detect marker pollutant in case of mishaps and take immediate crisis management measures in future, apart from fixing accountability for the incident. Report of the Committee should be furnished within three months, the NGT order of August 3, 2022 said.