The dumping of used industrial oils by manufacturing units in Gurgaon and Manesar is posing a serious health hazard to residents and adding to atmosphere and soil pollution.
Although the issue has assumed alarming proportions, the state pollution control board is yet to fully gauge the gravity of the situation.
According to pollution norms, industries should dump used oils and other toxic substances only after detoxing them. Industrialists should not dump recyclable oils or wastes in the open.
But greedy entrepreneurs either dump the waste oils in sewages or sell them to junk dealers who repack them and sell as original product.
While some industrialists claimed that they were not aware of how to dispose of the hazardous waste safely, the pollution control board never felt it important to launch an awareness drive.
Also, there is a paucity of agencies dealing with industrial waste management though Gurgaon is a major manufacturing hub in the country. There are only two recycling agencies in the city.
On Saturday, industrialists of IMT Manesar and representatives of the state pollution control board (SPCB) brainstormed on ways to control the damage caused by mindless dumping of toxic wastes.
“Industrialists don’t prefer to sell the used oil to genuine recyclers, who charge more for the process. Besides, many indulge in illegal practices,” said an industry representative.
Expressing the inability of SPCB to keep a check on the illegal practice, the board’s regional officer, Pradeep Yadav, said, “Though we take appropriate action when things are brought to our notice, it’s difficult to keep an eye on all those not disposing of industrial waste safely.”
When told that there were recyclers outside the state willing to buy used oil, Yadav said, “The board will have to think about giving them the necessary licence to do so.”
While the industrial waste management company, Gujarat Environment Protection Infrastructure Limited, and used oil recycler, Lubri Sales, are authorised for collecting, dumping and recycling such products, a major part of the waste is reportedly sold to junk dealers.
It is also learnt that the used oil is refilled in new jars of branded companies and sold in markets across the National Capital Region.