On October 9, 2018, an explosion occurred at around 10:30 am in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pulled up SAIL for “laxity” in ensuring safety measures which led to the blast at the company’s Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in 2018, in which 14 people had lost their lives.
On October 9, 2018, an explosion occurred at around 10:30 am in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town. In a report, CAG said it has audited all records relating to safety policy and environment management of SAIL for the period 2014-19.
The CAG report further noted that there were less number of safety officers posted in its plants than the statutory requirement during the period.
The report was done to assess the compliance to stipulated Act/ Rules/ Regulations and Standard Operating Practices (SOP) and whether social responsibilities related to environmental and pollution control, safety standards and application of the best industrial practices were followed, the CAG report released on Tuesday said.
“It was noted that the SAIL Safety Organisation did not develop any plan or frame timeline to implement its recommendations. Rupture in pipelines in pump houses at BSP led to fall in water pressure and Blast Furnace Gas spread into Pump House causing the death of six persons.
“Laxity in taking safety measures and unsafe practice of doing De-Blanking jobs of CO Gas Line on charged pipelines caused an accident at BSP where 14 people died,” the CAG report said.
SAIL has five integrated steel plants in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
CO2 emission in SAIL plants was higher than international standards, the report said adding that the average specific energy consumption in SAIL was more than the world average as well as that of Tata Steel and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL).