Rajahmundry: YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday demanded that Rs 1 crore be paid in compensation to each of the kin of 17 persons who lost their lives in the deadly blast and fire due to gas leakage in Nagaram village in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan visited the village which bore the brunt of the blowout, which resulted apparently due to leakage of gas from a GAIL pipeline yesterday, and consoled the bereaved family members.
"YSRCP MPs would submit a memorandum to the concerned ministry seeking adequate compensation to the injured and the farmers whose fields got destroyed in the fire mishap," Jagan told reporters.
"The Centre and state governments should mount pressure on GAIL, ONGC and the concerned ministry to pay Rs 1 crore compensation for the families who have lost a member in the mishap and adequately compensate the injured by providing them employment in government sector," he said.
Seventeen persons were killed - with two deaths being reported today - in the massive blaze which started early yesterday morning, apparently after leaked gas from the pipeline got ignited when a tea vendor lighted his stove, and gigantic flames singed houses, coconut palms and everything else in a 1.5 km radius.
Jagan said that the incident was not unprecedented in this part of the state, and is a fallout of a negligence on the part of oil companies.
"Oil companies are reaping all the profit and locals are left to face such a disaster...There is no compensation to the seismic disruption and environmental hazards," he said.
Jagan alleged that the negligence on part of the oil companies has been "very blatant" as there were frequent complaints for the past one year about the leakages and even a small spark can ignite a major blast, which was the case now.
"The complaints were attended to half heartedly and tentative repairs were done as the management was not serious about the local issues," he said.
Police today registered a case of negligence against the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), after examining eye-witnesses, recording statements of victims` relatives and based on preliminary investigation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh from the PM`s Relief Fund for the next of the kin of those killed.