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Vizag Gas Leak Affects Vegetable Crops Adding Distress to Farmers

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

Vegetable crops near Venkatapuram have discovered and deteriorated due to the damage caused by the leak of styrene gas from the LG Polymers plant.  Farmers are at a loss because the yield from the land is not fit for consumption.

The Vizag gas leak that occurred during the first weeks of May was due to the styrene leakage which happened due to human error and negligence in maintenance during the lockdown.

The poisonous gas, styrene, that leaked from a storage tank in the LG polymers factory near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh reportedly killed 11 people and affected more than 1000 in the early hours. Gruesome pictures and videos appeared, showing people having collapsed by the roadside.

The horticulture department conducted a field study and found that crops on 4.7 acres within three km of the styrene tank are unfit for consumption. Farmers have reported that the officials have ordered them to destroy all the crops.

They are at a loss because they won't be even getting the amount they have spent for yielding the crop. The horticulture department has promised them to provide with compensation sooner or later.

According to several media reports, 32farmers have faced this problem of damage and discolouration of their crops. 

A council appointed by India’s top environmental court has blamed the lack of basic safety norms and negligence by humans as the key factors for a gas leak in the chemical factory in Visakhapatnam. 

The committee said the tanks from which the gas leaked were outdated and lacked temperature detectors. Workers at the factory were slow to react to the leak and the chemical company lacked experience in monitoring and retaining tanks full of chemicals that sat linger for weeks due to nationwide lockdown.

During the same month, another gas leak happened at a paper mill in the industrial town of Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, which sent seven workers to the hospital, and a boiler blast at a thermal power station in Tamil Nadu wounded three. 

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