Within the next two months the MP government plans to send 337 metric tonnes of hazardous waste from Union Carbide’s Bhopal factory to an incinerator run by Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd in Pithampur located 300km from Bhopal.
There are 4 things wrong with this proposed action.
- The Ramky’s Treatment Storage Disposal Facility (TSDF) in Pithampur violates Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines on ‘Criteria on Hazardous Waste Landfills’.
This can be further verified by checking the latest Google Earth map of the facility and surrounding villagesInterestingly the inspection carried out by CPCB officials on 24 January 2008 observed “village is located within 500m from the plant boundary”.
- As per CPCB’s documents the residents of Tarpura have been exposed to high level of Dixon & Furans (a group of chemicals known to be most poisonous in the world) during the 7 trial incineration runs of Union Carbide waste. Exposure to these chemicals can cause damage to lungs, reproductive, immune, endocrine and nervous system & to to the unborn fetus.
- In 2010, the then state environment minister had objected to the disposal Union Carbide waste at Pithampur on the basis that it would lead to the contamination of the Yashwant Sagar reservoir; the source of drinking water for all of Indore.
- In 2012, the Madhya Pradesh government opposed the incineration the incineration of Union Carbide hazardous waste in Pithampur in the Supreme Court. The affidavit filed by the MP government stated “The Tarpura village comprising of 105 houses is only 250 meters away from the premises of the TSDF facility Pithampur and the people living in this village need to be relocated before conducting incinerating the Bhopal Gas toxic waste which is highly hazardous nature considering its composition.”
There are 2 important things to be noted here:
- The disposal of 337MT of Union Carbide waste is not going to have any effect on the ongoing contamination of soil & ground water due to Union Carbide’s burried industrial waste in and around the abandoned factory premises.
- The Madhya Pradesh government was presented with far safer and fifteen times cheaper alternative of transporting & incinerating waste at Hamburg, Germany by GIZ.
The Government of Madhy Pradesh has never clarified why it changed its stance regarding waste disposal at Pithampur and the reason for not opting with the safer and cheaper option of disposal.
|Nawab Khan & Shezadi Bee,
|Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
|Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
|Bhopal Group for Information and Action
|Children Against Dow Carbide