The Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the State Government to submit a status report on the health condition of the victims of Bhushan Steel plant mishap in Dhenkanal district.
A bench of Chief Justice A K Goel and Justice A K Rath also issued notice to the Government, Managing Director of Bhushan Steel Ltd., State Pollution Control Board along with the Dhenkanal district and police administration on instituting a CBI probe into the incident.
The directions came in response to a PIL filed by secretary of National Lawyers Forum Nishikanta Mishra seeking a CBI probe into the incident as well as ascertaining the actual number of casualties and injured in the blast.
The official death toll in the explosion while commissioning of the second blast furnace unit has been put at three and around 30 injured. But the petitioner has alleged that there is no clear proof of the number of people who had succumbed due to the blast along with those injured. He said the company is not coming forward to disclose the actual number of workers who were present at the site.
Mishra alleged that the company was a habitual offender with industrial mishaps and deaths common in the unit. It has been reported that around 95 persons have died in accidents at the unit since it was commissioned.
The explosion took place due to gross violation of safety laws and stipulations by the company. It is reported to have been put into operation without the clearance of Odisha State Pollution Control Board or other statutory agencies.
The petitioner has sought a CBI probe to unearth the cause of the mishap and determine the actual number of deaths and injuries. He had also prayed for direction to the State Government and the company for submission of a status report along with production of all relevant records in the matter.
While action should be initiated not only against the company but also Government officials for the omissions and commissions that led to the tragic incident, adequate compensation should be paid to the victims, Mishra has submitted.