Mumbai Waste Management Limited, a private company in Taloja, has not been granted permission to dispose of the toxic waste generated as a result of the 1984 Bhopal gas catastrophe in Navi Mumbai or Nagpur, environment minister Sanjay Deotale told the legislative assembly on Monday.
The state learned of the plan when the company asked the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department (BGTRRD) to seek permission for its incineration trial at Taloja in Navi Mumbai last month. A show-cause notice has been issued to the company for agreeing to do so without seeking permission from the state government.
In reply to a calling-attention notice by NCP leader Sandeep Naik, Deotale said that after the state government's protests, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had decided to conduct trial runs at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh. "Incineration trials will be held in Pithampur and the 350 metric tonnes of waste will be incinerated there," said the minister. "We will not allow any such waste to get transported or incinerated in Maharashtra."
The trial runs will be conducted at the Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) in Pithampur. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will supervise the runs. If the trials are successful, the waste will be disposed of there, said a source.
Earlier, the Bhopal high court had asked the company to incinerate the waste at Nagpur's defence facility. Following strong opposition from locals, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court had stalled the move.
When members of the ruling party and the opposition demanded to know what action would be taken against the Taloja company, Deotale failed to offer a satisfactory answer. Consequently, the speaker kept the question pending, asking the minister to give a detailed reply in the coming days of the budget session.