Orders made by the High Court, Madhya Pradesh in respect of the Union Carbide factory "clean-up"

WP NO. 2802 of 2004
11.8.2005
On 12.7.2005, we had directed the Registry to issue notice to fifth Respondent through courier. We had also directed the State Government to arrange for dispatch of the notice to correct address of the fifth respondent through courier with instructions to secure an acknowledgement regarding service. Shri R S Jha, learned deputy Advocate General appearing for the State government states that the said instructions could not be complied with as the Registry has not made available the notice. The Registrar (J) submits that the Registry was under the impression that the State Government would approach them for the notice.
To avoid any confusion, we hereby once again direct the Registry to prepare the notice to be served on fifth Respondent on the following two addresses :-
1. Union Carbide Corporation,
400, W Sam Houston Pkway, South
Houston, TX 77042 USA
2. Union Carbide Corporation,
39, Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury
CT 06817, USA
The notices to be sent shall be collected by the AG’s office and sent by courier as per our earlier order.
The NGOs submitted that the clean-up that has been done is not complete and they want to give some suggestions for improving the situation by tomorrow. Hence, list this matter tomorrow (12.8.2005) for further order.
So far as IA No. 4043/2005 is concerned, list the matter on 15.9.2005 at the request of counsel.
R V Raveendran Shantanu Kemkar
Chief Justice Judge
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WP NO. 2802 of 2004
12.8.2005
Shri Naman Nagrath, Advocate for the petitioner
Shri Shekhar Sharma, Advocate for respondent no. 1 (Union of India)
Shri R S Jha, Deputy Advocate General for respondent no. 2 (State of MP)
Shri Balaji Srinivasan, Advocate for intervenor (Greenpeace)
On 11.8.2005 various NGOs (who had filed applications for intervention and others to whom this Court issued notices) submitted that the work of packing and storing of hazardous waste by MPPCB through Ramky Associates between 31.5.2005 to 30.6.2005, was done in an unscientific manner exposing the nearby populace to risk. They submitted that any further action should be taken in a more scientific and safe manner with appropriate precautions. They also submitted that in view of the recent heavy rains, water has entered the godowns where the packed toxic waste has been stacked resulting in seepage, again posing a danger. They suggested re-packing of the hazardous waste. They also stated that the steps that are to be taken in regard to decommissioning of the plant and removal of contamination should be done after collation and review of results of scientific studies on the hazardous chemical waste (which have been carried out by Union Carbide and Government research agencies) so that a comprehensive picture about the ground realities and about the action to be taken can be drawn up.
The NGOs instead of being merely fault-finders should mutate into solution providers having regard to their experience in such matters. We therefore, requested the NGOs to put their heads together and to give suggestions, which will be practical, safe and economical. Accordingly, they submitted a preliminary joint memo today and seek a month’s time to submit a detailed Road Map which can be put into effect in regard to (a) removal of toxic waste (b) decommissioning of the plants and (c) removal of the contaminants.
Learned counsel for the State and the Central Government submit that their experts are capable of handling the matters by themselves and the NGOs have been more a hindrance than help in regard to the execution of the work. They also stated that NGOs have various axes to grind and their intentions are not always bonafide.
We however, feel that the NGOs with their knowledge and experience will be of some assistance in finding a solution to the vexed problem.
We, therefore, adjourn the matter to 15.9.2005 to enable NGOs to come forward with their joint suggestions. After considering them and the comments of the Task Force thereon, we will issue appropriate further directions.
R V Raveendran Shantanu Kemkar
Chief Justice Judge

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