Bhubaneswar, Jan 3:
The attempts of an influential group to provide protection to the owner of the Dhenkanal-based Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL) Neeraj Singhal have failed as the state government has allowed the renewal of licence of the 3.5 million tonne blast furnace-I of the company with the owner as the ‘occupier’.
Making an announcement at a press briefing here on Thursday, Labour and Employment minister Bijayshree Routray said that the BSL owner henceforth would be responsible for any mishap inside the plant premises and the state government would initiate legal action against him for any breach of safety norms.
It may be mentioned that BSL had applied for renewal of licence of its blast furnace-I prior to its term of expiry on December 31 last year while mentioning the name of an employee as the ‘occupier’ of the company.
However, in view of the blast in the blast furnace-II of the plant on November 13, the authorities of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) and the Directorate of Factories and Boiler had rejected the application while making it clear that the licence would be renewed only if the name of owner of the company or a person having a lion’s share in the company is mentioned as ‘occupier’.
Finding no other way, the company later mentioned the name of Singhal as the ‘occupier’.
Despite frequent mishaps in the plant, the state government had earlier failed to take any action against the owner as the licence was not in his name.