NGT appoints panel to probe into ammonia leak in Manali

NGT appoints panel to probe into ammonia leak in Manali

Ammonia had leaked from a public sector plant in Manali during the wee hours on May 15, resulting in residents of the Mathur MMDA colony being woken up by the foul smell

Chennai: The southern zone of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has appointed a committee to investigate the recent ammonia gas leak reported at an urea plant in Manali. The committee has been directed to study the plant’s emission rate to check whether it was within permissible limits and safety measures taken to protect the employees. The committee has been asked to submit a report on it soon.

Ammonia had leaked from a public sector plant in Manali during the wee hours on May 15, resulting in residents of the Mathur MMDA colony being woken up by the foul smell. Several residents sleeping on terraces due to the sweltering heat said the leak caused their skin to itch and eyes watering. With the Vizag gas leak fresh on their minds, residents had rushed to the streets in panic. Some had even reported of experiencing nausea, breathlessness and movement restrictions.

District environmental engineer Indira Gandhi inspected the plant the next morning.

An official from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), who wished anonymity, told TOI that the plant had been shut down on May 15 due to maintenance issues. “Ammonia had leaked due to this but it was in a minor quantity. The company has also not been able to identify the leak,” the official said, adding that the factory was not authorised to release any such chemicals in the air.

NGT south zone members Justice K Ramakrishnan and Saibal Dasgupta took up the matter suomotu based on media reports and noted that the fertilizer manufacturing companies should take more precautions as leaks might cause breathing trouble, eye irritation, etc,., to employees.

The committee, with representatives from Union environment ministry, TNPCB and Tiruvallur district collectorate, will assess whether any provisions in the Hazardous Waste (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, was violated by the plant and suggest environmental compensation, if any.https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/ngt-appoints-panel-to-probe-into-ammonia-leak-in-manali/75989781

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