Govt announces relief for victims of GAIL fire accident

Minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan has announced Rs25 lakh ex-gracia payment to the next of kin deceased in the explosion of GAIL India's gas pipeline at Tatipaka, in East Godaveri district of Andhra Pradesh.

The total ex-gratia payment to the next of kin of the deceased will be Rs25 lakh. Out of this Rs2 lakh will be provided from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund, Rs3 lakh from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and Rs20 lakh from GAIL (India) Limited.

For those permanently disabled, GAIL will deposit Rs5 lakh as fixed deposit in their name. The permanent disability will be certified by the district administration.

All other injured persons will be given an ex-gratia of Rs1 lakh. Out of this Rs50,000 will be provided from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the balance Rs50,000 will be provided by the GAIL (India) Limited.

Best possible medical care will be provided to those injured. All expenses in this regard will be borne by GAIL (India) Limited, an official release said.

Damage to property and crops will be compensated at market value by GAIL (India) Limited. All thatched houses in the affected village will be converted into pucca houses through CSR funds of GAIL and ONGC.

A world class skill up-gradation center will be established near the site of accident through CSR funds of GAIL and ONGC.

A high-level inquiry committee has been constituted to probe the incident. The committee would submit its report in a time bound manner.

Action will be taken to adopt best international practices regarding safety and security of all pipelines in the country. An action plan for this would be developed in a time bound manner.

Fourteen people died in the gas leak and pipeline explosion in Nagaram village of East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Friday. Seven people were criticially injured.

The incident occurred close to the Tatipaka refinery of ONGC.