NGOs have stepped up campaign to oppose MP government’s move to dispose of 346 tonnes of toxic Union Carbide waste in a Pithampur-based waste disposal facility.
Addressing a press conference, NGO Lok Maitri member Gautam Kothari said Shahbaz Khan, a former supervisor, who worked at the plant from 2010 to 2012, has stated in an affidavit that the plant management is flouting rules in disposal of toxic industrial waste for financial reasons. However, officials of Ramky Enviro Engineers, who manage the disposal facility, have rubbished the charges.
Hyderabad-based Ramkay Enviro Engineers operates MP waste management facility in Pithampur that disposes of hazardous industrial waste. The state government has announced plans to dispose the toxic Union Carbide waste in the facility. The local NGOs and industry representatives are opposing the move tooth and nail.
The former contractor, who was also present at the press conference, has stated “The waste is supposed to be tested in the laboratories and categorised into different categories for disposal. The most toxic waste is incinerated and the process is most expensive. However, the MP waste management facility is disposing such waste directly in its landfill thereby endangering the ecology of the surrounding areas.”
Khan has made the same allegation in a signed affidavit that has been addressed to senior government officials. He has also said that the landfill is being used beyond its capacity.
Rubbishing these charges, an official of Ramky Enviro Engineers, Amit Chaudhary said, “The allegations are baseless. The MP Pollution Control Board personnel check our facility on a regular basis and no such anomaly has been found. Earlier, the same people had made a hue and cry about lack of multi-effect evaporator and we have installed that.”
MP government’s efforts for the past four years to dispose of 346 tonnes of toxic waste lying on the Union Carbide plant premises have failed to bear fruit.
While the Supreme Court has issued directives to the government to dispose the toxic waste in a time bound manner, every attempt by the government has been met with stiff resistance from the NGOs and other organisations.
On April 17, 2014, the Supreme Court had asked the state government to conduct trial runs at Pithampur-based treatment, storage and disposal facility using 10 tonnes of toxic Union Carbine waste. However, no date has been fixed to conduct the trial runs.
The state government has tried to dispose of the waste in the suitable facilities in other states, but with little success.