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AP govt rejects Opposition demand to relocate Godavari aqua park

Our Bureau Vijayawada | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on March 31, 2017

The Andhra Pradesh Government on Friday rejected the demand voiced by the opposition YSR Congress Party in the Assembly to relocate the Godavari aqua food park being set up in West Godavari district by the Bhimavaram-based Ananda group, a leading seafood exporter in the State.

The demand was voiced in the Assembly by opposition leader, Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy, during a noisy debate on the death of five workers at Mogalturu at a shrimp processing factory being run by the Ananda group on Thursday due to toxic gas leak.

State Labour Minister Accham Naidu said it was most unfortunate that five workers had died in the accident and the Government had ordered an inquiry into the incident by a senior officer and stringent action would be taken against those responsible for it. The Government would also arrange payment of Rs 25 lakh to the families of the dead workers as ex gratia and compensation. "It was a safety lapse and we would take all steps to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. All pollution control measures would also be taken. The factory has stopped production, pending enquiry. We will not spare anyone," he said.

However, he said, it was not correct to demand that the mega Godavari aqua food park being taken up at Tundurru village in the vicinity of Bhimavaram town be relocated or shelved because of the incident. He said the same Ananda group was executing the project, but "a big project cannot be halted due to one unfortunate incident. It is not proper to politicise the issue."

Earlier, Jaganmohan Reddy said there were too many contradictions in the statement issued by the minister on the accident and "it is very evident that the Ananda group was not taking any pollution control measures and not maintaining safety standards which led to the accident.'

He said there were apprehensions among the people in the villages in the vicinity of Bhimavaram about the Godavari aqua food park that it may lead to largescale pollution of the waters in Gonteru drain and affect agriculture in the district. Therefore, he pleaded, the park should be relocated close to the coast and away from habitations, but the demand was rejected by the Government.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 31, 2017
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