Andhra govt to bear life-long treatment cost of those hit by Vizag gas leak

The gas leakage from the storage tank of LG Polymers at RR Venkatapuram on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam on May 7 claimed 12 lives and hundreds of others were hospitalised.
Amid reports that the Styrene gas that leaked from the LG Polymers Ltd plant at Visakhapatnam last week will have “long lasting” impact on the people in the surrounding villages, the Andhra Pradesh government will focus on any serious health issues emerging in those areas and bear the cost of treatment of those affected by it.

The gas leakage from the storage tank of LG Polymers at RR Venkatapuram on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam on May 7 claimed 12 lives and hundreds of others were hospitalised.

“The expert panel of CSIR-National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI) has indicated that the ill-effects of Styrene gas leak may be long-lasting. There might be major health complications among the victims in future and we shall work out strategies to attend to the same,” Minister for industries Mekapati Gautam Reddy told Hindustan Times.

He said the victims would need periodical health check-ups for the next one year. “We shall organise health camps in the affected villages to regularly monitor their health conditions and provide them necessary treatment,” the minister said.

Stating that all the affected people were brought under Arogya Sri scheme in which they would be given treatment free of cost, Reddy said the government would take complete responsibility for their treatment life long, should there be any health issues arising out of gas leakage.

Meanwhile, 367 people affected by the gas leakage from LG Polymers plant were still undergoing treatment in different hospitals, while 200 others having recovered were discharged on Tuesday, agriculture minister K Kanna Babu, who is in-charge of Visakhapatnam, told reporters.

“Apart from bearing the cost of treatment, the government is also extending compensation to every victim,” said Kanna Babu after calling on the people undergoing treatment at King George Hospitals. He was accompanied by Rajya Sabha member V Vijay Sai Reddy and tourism minister M Srinivasa Rao.

The minister said the situation in the affected villages had come back to normal and there were no complaints from the people. “Apart from four of our cabinet colleagues, MP Vijay Sai Reddy and others also had a night stay in the affected villages. A team of five doctors would regularly visit the villages to conduct tests on the people to find out their health status,” he said.

Some of the affected people refused to get discharged from KGH stating that they were yet to recover from the ill-effects of the gas. As a result, the doctors allowed them to return to the wards to stay for some more time.

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