Kochi: The explosion at the cracker unit in Sivakashi, killing 38 persons, raises fingers over the checks and enforcement activities carried out by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) in the south. According to the list of petroleum and explosives accidents in the country during 2010-11, the highest number of accidents were reported in the south circle comprising Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
During 2010-11, there were 13 accidents reported by PESO in south India, under the Explosives Rules, 2008. There were seven cases reported from Tamil Nadu, followed by three cases from Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The highest number of casualties were reported in Kerala with 19 persons killed in three accidents. About 14 persons died in seven accidents in Tamil Nadu. Two accidents were reported from Andhra Pradesh, but without any casualties. One accident each, under Gas Cylinder Rules, 2004 and Petroleum Rules were reported from Andhra Pradesh.
In the western circle, only four cases under the Explosives Rules were reported. Under Gas Cylinder Rule, 2004 and the Petroleum Rules, three and eight cases respectively were reported from the region. In the central circle, no such cases were reported under the Explosive Rules category. Four cases under the Petroleum Rules and two under the Gas Cylinders Rule were reported. In the east circle, three cases on explosives were reported. In the north circle, no cases under the Explosives Rules were reported.
During 2010-11, there were 13 accidents reported by PESO in south India, under the Explosives Rules, 2008.
A highly placed official in PESO, Chennai, blamed the lack of proper infrastructure and equipment, which resulted in the slow pace of checks and delay in action against the units lacking the proper safety gear. There were more than 28,691 firms with licences in south India till the year 2011, of which only 4,116 units had been inspected in the year 2011, he said.