October 18, 2012, Mettur : The members of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) have assured immediate action on the grant of relief to the child victim, M. Samivelu, of 2004 chlorine gas leak from Chemplast Sanmar plant in Mettur. Hearing the issue at a public hearing in Chennai, the panelists of the NCPCR, led by Commission chairperson Dr. Shanta Sinha noted the clear violation of the child’s right to life and environment in this case and assured to communicate the same to the District Administration with a recommendation to immediately expedite the matter.
Samivelu was 20 days old when he was exposed to chlorine gas leaked from Chemplast Sanmar Plant III in Mettur on 18 July 2004. He was hospitalized for more than two weeks owing to the severity of his exposure. His parents had filed an appeal under the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, with the Salem District Collector for compensation in 2005 and have since waited for relief. Even though the PLI Act requires matters of compensation to be disposed off within 3 months of the receipts of the claims, in this matter the administration has not taken any action for over 8 years. Investigation and action on the factory responsible for the gas leak is still pending. According to Samivelus father, Samivelu has been suffering from respiratory infections and bouts of sickness, going through a difficult childhood and incurring medical expenses to the tune of several thousands of rupees.
The public hearing on issues of violations of child rights in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry was held on 17 and 18 October in Thyagaraja Hall, T. Nagar, Chennai.