VASCO: Mormugao MLA Sankalp Amonkar has warned the Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited (Now, Paradeep Phosphates Limited) to come with people on the roads and stop all transportation of Ammonia to and from the port after an ammonia leakage was reported at Berth no 8 in the Mormugao Port Authority (MPA) on Tuesday morning.
Amonkar, who rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation, said that Ammonia was a ticking time bomb on the people of Mormugao and that people lived in fear as the Ammonia Storage tanks in the port were in close vicinity to densely populated areas.
“The locals informed me about the leakage incident while the shop St Oslo on berth with Ammonia cargo was being unloaded at the port. Ammonia is a dangerous product, and I have constantly demanded that mock drills be conducted to check safety parameters and disaster preparedness. Despite raising this issue in the assembly, we are still not aware of the mock drills are held or not, and this is not acceptable,” he said.
Amonkar said the mock drills must be held by taking public participation so that they know what steps need to be taken in case of emergency.
“The public is not aware since the tanks are in the port, and people are not at all aware of any mock drills, and it is the need of the hour that these ammonia storage tanks be shifted to a different location immediately,” said Amonkar
“It is by the grace of God that the leakage from the ship has been controlled and there was no major casualty, but in case of an emergency, who would be responsible? This cargo of ammonia is a time bomb and will keep the people in constant fear. I also want to tell the MPA not to get such dangerous cargo in the port, which can put the lives of people in danger.
Ammonia transportation to and from the port is also illegal as they don’t observe any safety while they move on roads. There has to be a fire brigade and an escort with every tanker that carries ammonia to cater to emergencies, but this is not happening. We will be forced to come on roads with the people if the Dadagiri of Zuari Agro Chemicals does not stop and if they continue to take people for granted. I am not against any business, but in case any company takes people for granted and puts their lives in danger, I may be forced to take up harsh steps,” said Amonkar