740 Tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate From Chennai to Be Shifted to Hyd
As per the plan, 10 containers will be sent out daily in order to avoid bunching and increasing the risk en route.
Ammonium nitrate weighing 740 tonnes stored in 37 containers at a container freight station (CFS) in Chennai will be moved to Hyderabad in a phased manner. On Sunday, the freight consignment weighing 180 tonnes left Chennai for Hyderabad to the warehouse of a private firm that bought the chemical in an online auction.
“The first 10 containers of ammonium nitrate have left the CFS on Sunday and the balance will be moved over the next two days. All one has to do is to load the containers onto a truck as the ammonium nitrate was imported in containers and impounded by Customs,” a container freight station (CFS) official told IANS.
The official said that as per the plan, 10 containers will be sent out daily in order to avoid bunching and increasing the risk en route.
A consignment of 740 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in 37 containers costing Rs 1.80 crore was imported by Sri Amman Chemicals in 2015 as fertiliser from Korea.
However, as the importer did not have the necessary licence, the importer had also misclassified explosive grade ammonium nitrate as fertiliser grade, reported The New Indian Express. The Customs Department confiscated the entire consignment and had it stored in Sattva CFS, Manali in Tamil Nadu.
It may be recalled that 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the Beirut port in Lebanon exploded on Tuesday, 4 August, killing 135 persons and injuring thousands.
Following that, concerns were raised about the safety risk of storing 740 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at the CFS. The Customs had auctioned off the ammonium nitrate soon after.
The successful bidder, it is learnt, was Salvo Explosive and Chemical, Hyderabad.
About 18,800 metric ton of ammonium nitrate was also found stored across four godowns at a warehouse in Vijayawada. Officials with the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) issued a show-cause notice against the firm and inspected the premises along with officials from the Department of Factories.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)
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