After facing numerous complications, the process of conducting trial runs for disposal of the highly toxic waste lying at Union Carbide plant in Bhopal will finally see the light of day, MP government officials confirmed on Monday.
"Ramky Enviro Engineers, the company running the waste disposal facility, has submitted the estimated cost to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which has forwarded the same to Union environment ministry for approval. Once the ministry gives the green signal, the trial runs will take place under the CPCB’s watchful eyes," a state government official told Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity.
In 2013, the Supreme Court had directed the state government to conduct trial runs using 10 metric tonnes of toxic Carbide waste at the Pithampur waste disposal facility.
At present, the state government is awaiting for the nod of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The official added that the state government will only provide logistical support for the safe transport of 10 metric tonnes of toxic waste to Pithampur.
The CPCB, which comes under the union environment ministry, will take a call on whether the Pithampur facility run by Ramky Enviro Engineers is safe for incineration of the toxic waste or not.
Sources said that the dates of the trail runs will not be made public fearing opposition from the NGOs who have alleged that the Pithampur waste disposal facility is unsafe.
The local NGOs and villagers living nearby, however, are opposing the move. The CPCB had in an affidavit before the Supreme Court in August 2013 stated that the toxic Carbide waste can be safely disposed of at the incineration facility in Pithampur.
Source said that the waste, packaged in small bags of about 20 kg each, will be transported in leak proof specialized tankers as per the CPCB guidelines.
"We are fully prepared for incineration of toxic Carbide waste. It will take about a month to package the waste, which is at present stored in jumbo bags," an official of Ramky Enviro Engineers, who did not wish to be named, told Hindustan Times.
The government proposes to dispose of 346 tonnes of toxic Carbide waste at Pithampur.