The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday said the threat of radiation leaks could not be ruled out in Mayapuri because of poor management and handling of waste and scrap and banned a number of activities in the West Delhi junkyard.
Terming the prevailing conditions hazardous to human life and environment, the tribunal has told the Delhi government to file a compliance report by July 12. “Those involved in different commercial activities in Mayapuri don’t not have trading licences or permission from the municipal corporation. This presents a very dismal picture of Mayapuri,” the tribunal said.Expressing concern over the health of the people who work there without any protective gear and safety measures, the tribunal banned burning of plastic, tyres, wires and other such material in and outside the shops in the junkyard.
The tribunal banned the use of gas or electronic cutters to dismantle heavy machinery such as generators, tankers and transformers. Now nobody in the market is allowed to store e-waste or materials which are likely to generate radioactivity and pose hazard to life and environment. The municipal corporation will ensure that such material is not stored at public places.
The tribunal also directed the ministry of environment and forests, Delhi Development Authority and atomic energy regulatory commission to ensure installation of scanners in the junkyard to ensure that no radioactive substance is stored except in accordance with the law.
India’s first case of radiation exposure killed one person and injured many at the scrap market in April 2010. The tribunal was on Wednesday hearing a petition, which has claimed the mechanism to detect radiation is withering away at Mayapuri.
Teams of DDA, the Delhi government, municipal corporation, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, AERC and the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation will regularly and "at odd hours" inspect the market to ensure all directions issued are obeyed. Delhi Police will depute force to help execute the orders, the tribunal ordered.
Photographs submitted to the tribunal by the petitioner showed dismantling and cutting of huge generator sets and transformers and collection of metallic wastes as well as burning of plastic, tyres, tankers, etc.