The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) and the Aligarh District Magistrate (DM), over the reported negligence in the ammonia gas leak at a meat factory causing illness to about 100 workers.
The Commission has sought a report within four weeks.
"The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that about 100 workers, mostly women, fell ill after inhaling ammonia gas that leaked in a meat factory in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh on September 29, 2022," NHRC said in a statement.
Reportedly, the pipeline through which the gas leaked, required replacement but it was instead repaired recently and the matter was also not reported to the authorities."Information was received about an ammonia gas leak in a meat factory in the Rorawar area, where mostly women are engaged in packaging work," the Aligarh DM said.The doctors informed us that everyone who was in the factory has been brought to the medical college and they are being treated. Everyone is out of danger and there is nothing to worry about as of now.
However, as per the official notice the Commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amount to a violation of human rights due to the apparent negligence of the owners as well as the local authorities, who were not vigilant towards their lawful duty.
Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Director General of Police and the District Magistrate, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh calling for a report on the matter within four weeks. The report is excepted to include action taken against the officers responsible as well as the status of the medical treatment being provided to the victims.
"The Commission would also like to know whether any compensation has been given by the State Government to the victims or not. The report should also mention whether the meat factory management has obtained lawful approval/licenses from the authorities concerned including the NOC by the Fire Services and also whether the labour laws were being properly followed by the factory", read the official notice.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, as many as 28 workers fell ill after inhaling ammonia gas that leaked from a prawn processing plant in Odisha's Balasore district on Wednesday.
Police officers and a fire rescue team rushed to the prawn factory named Highland Agro Food Private Limited and rescued 28 workers and sent them to Khantapada Hospital.
Out of them, 15 were referred to Balasore and other hospitals, according to an official.
"While 28 were admitted to the local community health centre at Khantapada, 15 are referred to Balasore. Till now only 7 workers were shifted to Balasore district headquarters hospital and out of them 4 are in serious condition and 3 are discharged," said Dr Julalsen Jagdev, Balasore Chief District Medical Officer yesterday.
He also informed that the workers who came in contact with the gas complained of burning of the throat, nose and respiratory tract.
"Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation. Many of them complained of problems in breathing and irritation in the eyes. We are giving them oxygen for breathing. The condition of the other 8 workers is not known whether they were admitted in other hospital or referred to Cuttack or Bhubaneswar," he said.
Balasore MP and former Union Minister Pratap Sadangi met the workers at the hospital and discussed their health conditions with the doctors.
Balasore Police are investigating the matter. (ANI)