Trial run to incinerate toxic waste lying on Union Carbide factory premises in Bhopal is likely to be held soon at Pithampur-based treatment, storage and disposal facility (TSDF). The state government is awaiting the nod of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in this regard.
“The state government will only provide logistical support for safe transport of 10 metric tonnes of toxic waste. The CPCB, which comes under the union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF), is in charge of conducting trial run at Pithampur to determine whether the TSDF facility operated by Ramky Enviro Engineers is safe for incineration of the toxic Union Carbide waste,” an official of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department told HT.
The Supreme Court has directed the MoEF and the state government to conduct the trial run at the Pithampur facility at the earliest. In August 2013, the CPCB had in an affidavit before the Supreme Court stated that 346 metric tonnes of toxic Carbide waste can be disposed of at the incineration facility at TSDF 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 CPCB guidelines. A final schedule is being worked out, and the entire exercise will be undertaken in coordination with the Union government.
Sources said that dates of trail runs will not be made public, fearing opposition from the NGOs who have alleged that the Pithampur waste disposal facility is unsafe. The Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department is now awaiting CPCB’s nod to hand over the waste to them for incineration.
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.
The state government’s efforts for the past four years to dispose of Carbide waste in other facilities outside the state have failed to bear fruit.
Earlier, the trial runs were scheduled to be held in June; however, the MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) had refused to renew the licence of Pithampur waste disposal facility due to its inability to install multi effect evaporator. The company has now installed the equipment and all the impediments have been removed.