Hyderabad: With 180 tonnes of ammonium nitrate being transported from Chennai Customs to a Hyderabad firm, Telangana Governor, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, has said that she is concerned about the safety of the people.
The Governor tweeted that she reached out to officials concerned to assess and follow up the situation and underlined the need for ensuring safety.
Some Twitter users thanked the Governor for raising the issue. One of them urged her to block the transport of the explosive chemical. “Let’s not make Hyderabad another Beirut or India another Lebanon,” he tweeted.
A powerful explosion in the ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut port on August 4 killed over 200 people and injured more than 5,000 and caused widespread devastation in the Lebanese capital.
The Telangana Industries Department decided to inspect Salvo Explosives and Chemicals, which is set to receive 10 trucks of ammonium nitrate on August 12 at its manufacturing facility at Ankireddipally village on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
According to the firm’s Managing Director A. Shyam Sundar Reddy, the company bought 690 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in February in an auction held by the Chennai Customs.
The company uses the compound to make explosives for mining companies like Singareni Collieries. It has tried to allay apprehensions over the public safety, saying it has been handling 1,500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate every month.
Reddy said the ammonium nitrate would be stored in the company warehouse as per the safety precautions prescribed by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).
Following the news of ammonium nitrate’s transport from Chennai to Hyderabad, some police officials from Rachakonda commissionerate visited the company and inquired if it had the necessary permission for receiving the consignment.
The ammonium nitrate bought by Salvo Explosives was seized by the Chennai Customs in 2015 after a company imported it from South Korea without proper license. It was stored at Sattva Container Freight Station in Chennai.
After the Beirut port blast, the Centre had asked customs officials to shift ammonium nitrate lying at ports and container freight stations to safer places.
While 180 tonnes of the compound in 10 containers was dispatched to Hyderabad by road on August 9, the remaining consignment is also expected to reach Hyderabad in the coming few days.