Chemicals neutralised, Porus Lab shut
Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent
Villagers want Porus Lab shifted from the place owing to the health hazards it poses. But the state govt is yet to take a final decision
A view of Porus Labs site after an explosion occured at the plant in Akkireddygudem of Eluru district. (Photo: By Arrangement)
VIJAYAWADA: The plant of private pharma firm Porus Laboratories at Akkireddygudem in Musunuru mandal of Eluru district has been shut down safely after neutralising chemicals, gases and other chemical waste on the factory premises.
Out of five production blocks from A to E, only two – B and D – had been working when the blast in a reactor of the Porus plant late on the night of April 13 claimed nine lives. Since then, authorities have sent stocks of chemicals and gases like methylamine, phthalic anhydride, which remained unaffected, to their places of origin. Further, contaminated chemical waste generated following the blast has been transported to Ramky in Parawada of Visakhapatnam for safe disposal in a scientific manner, while complying with all standard protocols.
With all chemicals vulnerable to reactions neutralised or transported for safe disposal, workers at Porus Labs are cleaning up the premises.
A senior factories department official said, "The plant has almost been safely shut down by moving out all chemicals and gases after neutralising them. All contaminated chemical waste following the reactor blast has been transported to Ramky for safe disposal. This is a temporary exercise. The state government is yet to take a final decision on shutting down Porus Labs on a permanent basis or allow it to operate after complying with safety norms."
The majority of Akkireddygudem villagers want Porus Lab shifted from the place permanently owing to the health hazards it poses. But the state government is yet to take a final decision. It has not released the report of inquiry it conducted into the mishap at the plant. Sources indicate the blast is due to human error. In that case, several questions arise as to why the firm did not resort to automation so that the element of human error could be removed.
The plant was inspected thrice from 2020 to 2022 by department of factories, an inter-departmental team of officials after LG Polymers mishap on May 7, 2020, and a third-party safety audit. Yet, the mishap took place. This indicates that inspections lacked seriousness in ensuring that the plant management complied with all safety norms scrupulously.