New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) The government has decided to set up a safety directorate to prevent accidents at steel plants, Union minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said Monday.Also Read - Major: Para-Military Officer Gets Emotional After Watching Adivi Sesh in Sandeep Unnikrishnan's Biopic - Viral Video

The directorate will oversee the safety standards in the steel industry, he said adding the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) have comprehensive safety policies. Also Read - Woman Beats Up Husband With Cricket Bat In Front of Son, Man Moves Court Seeking Protection | CCTV Video

Production of iron and steel is a complex and hazardous activity, Singh said stressing on the importance of safety measures to prevent untoward incidents. Also Read - Chessable Masters: Indian GM R Praggnanandhaa Shocks Anish Giri, Meets Ding Liren In Final

“Recognising the need to prevent injuries and accidents and provide a healthy working environment and guard against all possible hazards and risks, it has been decided to set up a safety directorate which will become operational soon,” the steel minister said after the meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee in Panaji.

In October last year, nine people were killed and 14 others injured in a blast at SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant in Durg district of Chhattisgarh. The explosion took place around 10:30 am in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of the plant in Bhilai town.

The minister also said that efforts are on to make Orissa Minerals Development Company Ltd (OMDC) mine operational.

He further said India has become the second largest producer of steel in the world leaving behind Japan and the US.

According to latest report of global steel body World Steel Association (worldsteel), India has replaced Japan as world’s second largest steel producing country.

“India’s crude steel production in 2018 was at 106.5 million tonne (MT), up by 4.9 per cent from 101.5 MT in 2017, meaning India has replaced Japan as the world’s second largest steel producing country. Japan produced 104.3 MT in 2018, down 0.3 per cent compared to 2017,” worldsteel has said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.