Industries handling chemicals have to take insurance

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) Industries handling 179 types of chemicals and compounds won’t be allowed to operate if they don’t subscribe to a special insurance policy, the government said on Monday.

The environment ministry directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure better implementation of the Public Liability Insurance (PLI) Act, 1991, an official statement said.

This makes it obligatory for industries handling these chemicals and compounds to subscribe to the insurance policy to cover the liabilities likely to arise on account of any chemical disaster and payable to the victims who are not its workers, the ministry said.

The PLI Act establishes an Environment Relief Fund (ERF), which is subscribed by all such user industries by an amount equal to the annual premium amount of such insurance policies, it added.

The CPCB will direct all state pollution control boards to ensure that ‘consent to establish’ or the consent to operate is not granted or renewed to any industry which does not comply with the PLI Act.

Noting there were many cases where owners failed to subscribe to PLI policies because of ignorance, the ministry said it had initiated several steps to strengthen the implementation of the act.

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