NHRC seeks report from Centre over compensation to LPG blast victims in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Centre over non-payment of compensation to victims of gas cylinder burst in Bhubaneswar and called for a report within four weeks.

Acting on a petition filed by rights campaigner Subash Mohapatra, the apex human rights watchdog issued a notice to Secretary of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

The petitioner has alleged that one woman was killed and three others injured when a gas cylinder burst on 30 December last year in unit 8 area of the capital city of Odisha and they were not paid any compensation or insurance though premiums are mandatorily collected from the customers.

Like the instant case, the oil companies do not provide the compensation and their insurance money to the victims and their affected families.

“The insurance policy taken by oil companies is good for consumers. But the oil PSUs also need to improve awareness among the public. In fact, even though insurance cover is available, it is usually the state government that gives compensation to the victims, while oil PSUs are paying such a high insurance premium. What is the use if the public is not made aware of this provision?” Mohapatra contended.

He further demanded, “NHRC should direct the Central Government to work with OIL PSUs and other stakeholders to ensure public awareness and immediate payment of insurance compensation in the reported case in particular”.

In the instant case, one woman was killed, and three others of a family were injured after a gas cylinder burst while cooking at OUAT government quarters in the city on 30 December last year.

Chandramani Nayak, his wife, mother, daughter and son-in-law as well as their two daughters were present in the house during the accident, in Unit-8. The fire, probably caught by a gas leak in the cylinder, was so sudden and virulent that no one was able to escape from the house.

The fire officials had struggled for an hour to put out the fire and were forced to cut open the iron grills to rescue people out of the house. The wife of Chandramani Nayak died on the spot, and son-in-law’s one leg had been severed in the accident, and he was first admitted to Capital Hospital and later shifted to a private hospital as his condition deteriorated.

Chandramani Nayak, his mother and daughter, were admitted to hospital with burn injuries.The two granddaughters had been rescued safely.