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Visakhapatnam: Residents continue to suffer from wide range of illnesses
- On May 7, 2020 the vicious styrene monomer gas leak at LG Polymers killed 12 persons
- The accident did leave a long-term impact on the residents of the village and neighbouring localities
Visakhapatnam: Even after two years, residents of Venkatapuram and surrounding villages continue to suffer from a wide range of illnesses.
On May 7, 2020, the vicious styrene monomer gas leak at LG Polymers killed 12 persons the same day and three more later, leaving many hospitalised. Even as people are gradually recovering from the tragedy now, the accident did leave a long-term impact on the residents of the village and neighbouring localities.
Except the compensation provided by the state government during initial days of the incident, other relief measures seem to be a distant dream for those who were affected by the tragedy.
Even the recommendations made by the High Power Committee constituted to study the styrene vapour leak accident and prepare a detailed report have not been enforced, while the proposal to facilitate a multi-speciality hospital in the area is gathering dust.
Locals who were impacted by the incident say that they have been toiling for financial assistance to meet medical expenses that continue to mount ever since the accident had occurred.
While some have to shell out lakhs for repeated surgeries, others frequent healthcare centres for operation and to treat related complications.
Although Y Kanaka Raju, P Venkayamma, K Satyanarayana succumbed to the gas leak incident days later, their family members did not receive compensation.
The disbursement of compensation post the incident began soon after the incident. But despite several victims adding to the list on various parameters, even now, some of them keep visiting the officials for compensation. "Roughly, 300 people have to receive Rs.10,000 compensation each, 20 persons Rs.1 lakh each and six persons Rs.10 lakh each," shares Balivada Venkata Rao, secretary of CPM-Gopalapatnam zone.
Sharing his experience, a gas leak victim K. Kannaji, says, "Most of us suffer from health complications due to inhalation of styrene monomer. During the initial 45 days of the incident itself, I had undergone five surgeries related to ears, nose and stomach. In later months, I had another major operation. But till now, neither I nor my mother Sanyasamma, who suffered a series of health complications, received any compensation."
Back then, a 15-year-old K Shainy inhaled a huge quantum of the styrene monomer. And so did her grandfather who later died due to the inhalation of styrene monomer. "Doctors had warned my daughter that she is likely to suffer from tuberculosis. Already, she is getting treated for kidney stones and complains of stomach pain quite often. I had lost my father due to the incident and I am more concerned about my daughter now," rues K Gopi, a resident of Venkatapuram.
Based on the locals' demand, a dispensary was launched in a school building in the locality. However, months later, it has become dysfunctional. "We used to get some basic medicines at the dispensary. But with the facility being closed, the venue is neither used for the dispensary nor an educational institution," worry the locals.
Residents of Venkatapuram and neighbouring areas demand that the recommendation made by a team of experts through a journal of Dr NTR University of Health Sciences should be implemented. They mention that they would not hesitate to launch an agitation if their voices remain unheard.