Commissioner for NRI Affairs and Mormugao MLA Milind Naik has expressed concern that storage and transportation of ammonia through four constituencies of Mormugao taluka could prove to be detrimental for people in near future.
Speaking in the wake of an incident at Chicalim airport road wherein an ammonia-laden tanker fell on its side after ramming into an electricity pole and a median, resulting in leakage of ammonia, Naik claimed that the safety team of the company failed to reach the site on time following the mishap.
He raised serious concern over the storage of ammonia at the tank located at jetty.
He said that in the event of any mishap, transportation of ammonia by road and even its storage in the tank at Jetty could be dangerous for the people living in the vicinity and there could be no chance to carry out evacuations.
He said that the people residing in the ammonia storage tank area at Harbour, Sada, Jetty, Rumdawada and Bogda face the risk of getting affected first if there is any leakage.
“The tank has a capacity of storing 5,000 tonnes of ammonia,” stated Naik. “The storage and transportation of ammonia by roads through four constituencies of Mormugao taluka could be a future disaster,” he claimed.
Mormugao Municipal Council chairperson Deepak Naik disclosed that the port authorities have submitted a report of the incident that took place at Chicalim airport road after the council resolved to stop transportation of ammonia by road.
“MPT has conducted an inquiry into the leakage of ammonia from a tanker at Chicalim airport road. The report has been submitted to the council by the MPT authorities. We have not made the report public as we want to get a legal opinion from our legal advisor,” said Deepak.
When contacted official of the Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd (ZACL), it was stated that the ammonia storage tank at jetty is safe and it has been made operational only after carrying out all the necessary tests.
On transportation of ammonia by tankers, it was stated that six tankers, which are used for transporting ammonia, have been re-checked following the incident and two of the tankers have been replaced by Navlakha Transport, Pune.
“We are conducting daily patrolling of tankers and also a regular check. We have installed GPS devices in order to keep a track of movement of tankers from the storage tank to the factory premises,” said the official.
It was also disclosed that ZACL has stopped movement of all tankers involved in transportation of ammonia at night.
“We also go on surprise rounds to check the vehicles,” added the official.