State gas utility GAIL on Sunday suspended two senior company officials of its Andhra Pradesh office after a fire caused by a possible leakage in an underground gas pipeline killed 19 persons and injured several others.
A massive fire on Friday morning in Nagaram village of East Godavari district in AP left 19 people dead and several others injured.
The fire was suspected to have been sparked when a tea vendor lit a stove in the vicinity of what was a leaking pipeline running 4 meters below the ground.
“Pending the outcome of the inquiry set up both by the government as well as the company, two senior officials in-charge of regional operations and maintenance of the pipeline network have been suspended,” GAIL said in a statement here.
GAIL has initiated implementation of a slew of relief measures for the affected families and villagers of Nagaram and is paying Rs 20 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased besides the Rs 5 lakh compensation announced by the Central and state governments.
GAIL today handed over Rs 3.89 crore to the district administration towards compensation for the families of the deceased at Rs 20 lakh each along with Rs 50,000 to each of the 19 injured. The disbursement of compensation will begin tomorrow.
Company Chairman BC Tripathi said, “GAIL deeply mourns the tragic loss of life and property in the unfortunate incident along the natural gas pipeline of the company at Tatipaka in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Our ED (Human Resources), Amit Ray, has been nominated as the nodal officer for coordinating the relief and rehabilitation measures and closely work with local authorities, government and villagers.”
In addition to the relief measures announced by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan during his visit to the incident site, GAIL will bear the medical expenses of all the injured persons and put Rs 5 lakh in fixed deposit for each of the permanently disabled persons to enable them to access benefits through monthly income schemes.
“A detailed plan of action is being drawn up for rehabilitation of the affected persons,” GAIL said, adding that food and temporary shelters have already been arranged near the affected site.
The loss of property as well as crops is being assessed in consultation with district authorities and GAIL will also be extending compensation for the same.
GAIL said that its Tatipaka-Kondapalli pipeline had been certified safe by various national and …continued »