LG Polymers India has Absolute Liability: NGT on Vizag Gas Leak

The Tribunal also directed the state chief secretary to take appropriate action against the people responsible for the failure of law in permitting the company to operate without statutory clearances.

Vizag Gas Leak

New Delhi: PTI reports that the South Korean company LG Polymers India has “absolute liability” for the loss of life and public health in the gas leak incident at its plant in Visakhapatnam, as held by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on June 3. An interim penalty of Rs 50 crore should be spent on compensation to the victims and the restoration of the environment, .the NGT has also directed.

Besides, the NGT order states that a restoration plan be prepared by a committee comprising two representatives each of the Environment Ministry and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and three representatives of Andhra Pradesh government. Discarding the company’s plea seeking review of its May 8 order slapping on it the Rs 50 crore interim penalty, the NGT said that that it is justified in taking suo motu cognisance of the matter.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that final calculation of compensation could be assessed by a committee comprising representatives of the Ministry of Environment Ministry (MoE), CPCB and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

“The committee will be at liberty to associate/co-opt any other expert institution or individual. The Secretary, MoEF may ensure the constitution of such committee within two weeks… The Committee may give its report within two months thereafter,” the bench, also comprising of Justice Sheo Kumar Singh, said. The Tribunal also directed the Andhra Pradesh chief secretary to identify and take appropriate action against the people responsible for the failure of law in permitting the company to operate without statutory clearances within two months and give a report.

 “In view of the stand of the state pollution control board and the company that it will not recommence its operation without requisite statutory clearances, we direct that if any such statutory clearances are granted and the Company proposes to recommence, this aspect must be brought to the notice of this tribunal so that compliance of law is ensured,” the bench said in its June 1 order uploaded today.

The NGT asked MoEF to constitute an expert committee to suggest ways and means to revamp monitoring mechanism to check and prevent violation of environmental norms and preventing any such recurrence in future in any of the establishments dealing with hazardous chemicals.

“A special drive may be initiated in this regard. An action taken report may be furnished within three months. This order will not prejudice any criminal or other statutory proceedings in accordance with the law,” the bench said.

Further, the NGT said that the safety of citizens and environment is of prime concern and any economic or industrial activity, however necessary, has to be consistent with the safety of human beings and the environment. “The damage to human life, human health and environment has to be restored by applying the ‘Sustainable Development’ principle, of which ‘Precautionary’ and ‘Polluter Pays’ principles are part,” the bench said.

On May 8 the NGT had sought a response from the Centre and others saying ‘there appears to be a failure to comply with the said Rules and other statutory provisions’. It had set up a five-member Committee to probe gas leak incident in the chemical factory, in which at least 11 people were killed and 1,000 exposed.

The matter was taken up suo-motu (on its own) by NGT on the basis of media reports to the effect that leakage of hazardous gas, Styrene, took place on May 7 from a chemical factory owned by the South Korean company LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd, R.R. Venkatpuram village, Pendurthy Mandal, Vishakhapatnam resulting in the death of 11 people.

A major early morning chemical leak from a polymer plant near Visakhapatnam impacted villages in a five-km radius, leaving many people dead and scores of citizens suffering from breathlessness and other problems, as the AP government ordered a probe into the issue.

The leak was noticed by company staff who were reportedly inspecting machines to restart the factory and raised an alarm.

Hours after the styrene gas leak from the multinational L G Polymers Plant at R R Venkatapuram village near here, scores of people could be seen lying unconscious on sidewalks, near ditches and on the road, raising fears of a major industrial disaster.

NGT order


  1. Vizag gas leak FIR doesn’t mention Styrene’, company personnel

  2. Visakhapatnam Gas leak: National Green Tribunal orders LG Polymers India to deposit 50 crore for damage caused




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