Report on methane gas leak in sugar factory, Solapur, Maharashtra, 28/07/2021
Interim report by Expert Committee in OA No. 274 of 2020 (News item published in The Indian express, November 23, 2020 titled Maharashtra: Two killed, eight injured in methane gas leak in sugar factory. The Expert Committee report was in compliance with the National Green Tribunal order, December 18, 2020.
The incident occurred at the distillery unit of M/s Loknete Baburao Patil Agro Industries Ltd., Solapur.
The report said that the industry violated environmental norms by not stabilizing the biodigester using organic matter, active culture etc. prior to the operation of the distillery unit and hence was not having necessary preparedness to meet the required treatment of spent wash prescribed under the consent issued by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
On the day of accident, ~6,500 m3 (previous season spent wash of 2018-19 @ 5,780 m3 and raw spent wash of 2020-21 @ 720 m3 ) of spent wash was spilled from the biodigester and spread within the industry premises. After the accident, 6,500 m3 of spent wash from the biodigester has reportedly been spread within the industry premises and the spilled area has been reported to be about 6 acres.