NEW DELHI: Following the massive explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut on August 4, the Centre has asked for immediate security audit of all major ports and Warehouses in the country to verify and confirm whether any hazardous or explosive material is lying in these facilities and all necessary safety norms are being followed.
Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said all agencies including Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had been asked to begin a survey in the wake of the Beirut blast.
Complying with the MHA direction, the CBIC in a note asked all its field formations including customs officials to immediately verify and confirm within two days that all hazardous and explosive material lying in warehouses and ports across the country meet safety and fire standards.
They have also been asked to examine whether these materials posed any danger to human life or property.
There were reports in media that 700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate are lying in a Chennai warehouse following the seizure by the Customs Department in 2015 as its importer, a private firm, did not have the required permission to import the substance.
The seized chemicals are valued at around Rs 1.80 crore. The sources said that after the blast in Lebanon, intelligence and other security agencies had also been asked keep a ”hawks eye” on those organisations which may import these materials without proper permission and deliberately get it stuck at ports or in Government warehouses posing huge danger to lives and property.
Initial reports suggest that Ammonium nitrate, widely used in fertilizers and explosives, is reported to have been the cause of massive explosion in Beirut, killing more that 140 people and left thousand injured apart from massive damage to property. (AGENCIES)