Tag Archives: State Pollution Control Board

Survivors demonstrate at M.P. Pollution Control Board

Over 100 survivors of the Union Carbide disaster and people exposed to ground water contaminated by Union Carbide’s hazardous waste, today demonstrated at the office of the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board demanding explanation of its role in the toxic exposure and injury of six workers at the MP Waste Management Facility at Pithampur near Indore.

Organizations leading the victims presented documents obtained through RTI that demonstrate that the MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) granted Consent for Operation for incineration to the MP waste management facility run by Ramky Enviro Engineers on March 18, 2010 despite several violations of Hazardous Waste Management Rules.

“The village Tarpura is only about 200 meters from the incinerator. We have been there and seen how close people live to the incinerator” said Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action. He pointed out that this is a clear violation of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines that stipulate that there should be no habitation within 500 meters of a waste management facility.

Pointing out that this violation has been recorded in several inspection reports between 2008 and 2010 carried out by MPPCB and CPCB, Balkrishna Namdeo of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha said “Ramky has been allowed to run its project without installing such critical facilities as Multi Effect Evaporator and Mechanical Stabilizing system. These deficiencies among many others have been recorded but have been overlooked ultimately to help Dow Chemical current owner of Union Carbide”.

According to the organizations top waste management experts are unanimous that there are no waste management facilities in India that can safely dispose off Union Carbide’s hazardous waste and it can only be done in advanced facilities such as in Canada, USA, Germany and Denmark.

The organizations held that Dow Chemical alone has the financial and technical resources for safe transportation and disposal of Union Carbide’s wastes. They complain that instead of making Dow Chemical pay for it, the central and state governments have decided to dispose off the waste as cheaply as possible without any consideration to safety of workers and residents or to rules governing waste management.

“The toxic exposure and injury of workers at Pithampur demonstrates the criminal negligence of both the state and central governments. The Ramky incinerator was being used as per the recommendations of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal and the directions of the Cabinet Committee that were based on them. Succumbing to pressures from the central and state governments the MPPCB showed utter disregard to its mandate of controlling pollution.” said Abdul Jabbar, Convenor of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan.

Safreen Khan
Children Against Dow-Carbide
Mob. 9826994797

Balkrishna Namdeo
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9826345423

Abdul Jabbar
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan
Mob. 9406511720

Syed M Irfan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9329026319

Rashida Bee,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Mob. 9425688215

Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Mob. 9826167369

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Open letter to the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board

To the Chairman, MP Pollution Control Board, Paryavaran Parisar, E-5, Arera Colony, Bhopal 462 016

    Sub: Personal and Organizational Responsibility for Toxic Injury to six workers at the MP Waste Management Project, Pithampur, Dhar on June 25, 2010.

Sir,

We survivors of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal and people exposed to ground water contaminated by Union Carbide’s hazardous wastes are writing to you to come clean on your personal and organizational responsibility for the toxic exposure and injury of six contract workers on June 25, 2010 at the MP Waste Management Project at Pithampur, Dhar run by Ramky Enviro Engineers Limited.

As you should know these workers were injured during the trial run of the Incinerator which was approved by your organization despite several blatant and ongoing violations.

There is documentary evidence to substantiate that you and your organization know full well that:

1. The village Tarpura is located within 500 meters of the Waste Management Project facility and the proposed Incinerator. (mentioned in Inspection Report of March 2007 and Status Report of January 2008)

2.The facility has collected and stored incinerable waste in an unauthorized manner.( mentioned in Inspection Report of February 2009, Inspection Report of July 2009, Status Report of January 2008, Status Report of February 2009 and Compliance Report of July 2008)

3.The facility has built landfills that are not as per approved design of CPCB. mentioned in Inspection Report of July 2009, Status Report of January 2008, and Compliance Report of July 2008)

4. Leachate from land fills is being used to quench the incinerator, causing toxic emission. This is being done by REEL instead of installing a Multi Effect Evaporator as per the CPCB guidelines.

5.There is no system of mechanical stabilization at Ramky’s facility that was directed on September 03, 2008 following joint inspection by MPPCB and CPCB.

Further during the transport of 40 MT of Union Carbide’s hazardous waste in June 2008 there were several violations as under:

6.One of the three trucks (Vehicle Regn No. HR 55A 1851) used for transporting the hazardous waste did not have the requisite Insurance, the national permit papers or the Pollution Under Control Certificate.

7.Another truck (Vehicle Regn No. HR 55A 7853) used for transporting the hazardous waste did not have the Pollution Under Control Certificate.

8.There was no off-site or on-site disaster management plan.

9.Local residents in Bhopal and Pithampur had no knowledge about the proposed transportation of hazardous waste which was carried out in darkness at about 2 AM in Bhopal.

10. The drivers of the trucks did not have fitness certificates and none of them were educated till 10th class.

Despite the knowledge of the above violations of the Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 1989 your organization gave Consent for Operation on March 18, 2010 and approved the trial runs at this incinerator that led to toxic exposure and injury to six workers.

In June 2005 because of your organization faulty regulation, workers and hundreds of neighbourhood residents were exposed to toxic pesticide dust during a Ramky operation at the Bhopal Union Carbide factory.

You owe an immediate explanation for your criminal negligence towards the health and safety of workers and residents and complicity with Ramky group of companies.

Awaiting your early reply.

Safreen Khan
Children Against Dow-Carbide
Mob. 9826994797

Balkrishna Namdeo
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9826345423

Abdul Jabbar
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan
Mob. 9406511720

Syed M Irfan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9329026319

Rashida Bee, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Mob. 9425688215

Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Mob. 9826167369

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Seven deaths in 4 months, do safety codes at chemical units here stink?

Express News Service, November 13, 2006
BHARUCH-ANKLESHWAR: WITH DEATH OF 3 GIRLS AT CLOSED UNIT, POSERS ON SAFEGUARDS CROP UP
Vadodara, November 13: SIX deaths have taken place within four months in two separate incidents of industrial accidents in Ankleshwar’s GIDC unit, while there has been one fatality at the Panoli industrial unit in the neighbourhood which has a high concentration of chemical industries. While authorities made no breakthrough in the mysterious deaths of three girls on Sunday in a closed chemical unit at the Ankleshwar GIDC, they have sought the services of health officials to ascertain if it could be a case of food poisoning.
A month ago, two women and one man had died in an explosion at a unit after release of chemicals in the main effluent drainage pipeline.
These were casual labourers residing in the GIDC area next to Pragna Chemicals in the Ankleshwar GIDC area. According to Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) officials, some unit had released untreated chemical waste in the effluent drainage which led to a reaction and thereafter an explosion in the nearby tank.
In another such incident around four months ago, a chemical factory worker, Rajendra Bachhansingh, succumbed to severe injuries due to gas leakage at Pesticides India in the Panoli GIDC region. Sources said that such incidences are more frequent at pesticide units than other industries due to a chemical reaction-prone environment.
There are around 1,200 chemicals units in the Bharuch-Ankleshwar region.
In Sunday’s incident where three girls—Kamliben Garvala (18), Kasmi (17), and Anu (7)—died in mysterious circumstances in a closed chemical unit, the Bharuch police have now sought the help of health officials to ascertain if they could have died of food poisoning.
While awaiting the post-mortem and forensic laboratory reports, investigating officer Vijay Soma said, ‘‘We have started recording the statements of everyone in the neighbourhood to know if they experienced any effects of gas emission, but no one seems to confirm it.’’
In addition to GPCB officials, Industrial Safety and Health Department deputy director P J Gamit said, ‘‘We did not find any evidence of gas leakage there. In recent times, we have imposed strict laws for industrial safety in the region.’’
Meanwhile, if the cause of death in Sunday’s incident is not ascertained, the girls’ family will not get the compensation amount they are entitled to under provision of industrial safety laws.
Bharuch district collector Murli Krishna said for the moment they are not considering any compensation, as the cause of death is yet to be established, and also the unit was closed.

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Three workers of shut factory die: one was a seven-year-old child

TIMES NEWS NETWORK, NOVEMBER 13, 2006
BHARUCH: Three labourers working in Narmada Oil ETL located in Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) of Ankleshwar died under mysterious circumstances on Sunday morning. The trio, identified as Kasma Garwal (18), Kamila Garwal (19) and Anu Garwal (7) died on their way to the hospital.
The deceased were working as labourers in the company for last few months. The victims had gone to take a bath when the incident occurred. The company was closed for the last 10 years and was recently purchased by a local person.
Earlier, gas leakage was suspected to be the reason behind the deaths, officials of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), who rushed to the spot, said there was no gas leakage.
“It is still a mystery how these people died. There is no possibility of gas leakage. No production activity is going on inside the place,” said GPCB regional officer of Bharuch, V R Gadge.
Most companies surrounding Narmada Oil have also been closed for quite sometime.
When asked whether the effluent-carrying drainage line passing just behind Narmada Oil may have caused the leakage, Gadge said, “A team of GPCB officials have looked into all possible angles and there is no gas leakage.” The matter is also being investigated by Bharuch police.

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Chemical plant burns down – no one is responsible

On 6 July, 2004, a little after 2 a.m., residents living downwind of the Hindustan Insecticides Ltd (HIL) pesticide factory in Eloor, Kerala, were alerted to a fire in the factory’s endosulphan plant. Based on varying accounts, the fire raged for between three and four hours and gutted most of the five-storey endosulphan plant.

Twelve fire tenders, including units from Fertilisers & Chemicals Travancore (FACT), the Indian Navy, the State Fire Department and Kochin Refineries, were deployed and the fire was brought under control using large amounts of water. A westerly breeze carried the thick grey smoke plume over at least 250 dwelling units in Pallipuramchal and all the way across the river to the Varapuzha panchayat. Smoky conditions prevailed in Varapuzha as late as 7 a.m., well after the fire was put out.

Neither HIL nor the district authorities initiated any off-site emergency response procedures. HIL also had no onsite emergency response, and fire control did not begin until the FACT fire tender arrived at 2.35 a.m. As will be outlined in the report below, Hindustan Insecticides Ltd is guilty of negligence on several counts. The Eloor Police has, however, registered a simple case of “fire occurrence”. No action has been initiated against the company for negligence.

The Eloor industrial area hosts about 250 industries, of which more than a dozen, including Hindustan Insecticides Limited, are large chemical factories. The authorities – particularly, the Kerala State Pollution Control Board and the Factories and Boilers Inspectorate – have sought to treat community demands for information about the hazardous chemicals and processes as unnecessary interference rather than legitimate concerns. Repeated requests for information on emergency preparedness, and for the building of a bridge across the River Periyar at the Eloor ferry point to escape the island during emergencies have fallen on deaf ears.

The absence of emergency response procedures, the casual attitude of the district authorities and the industry, and the lack of appreciation of the magnitude of the incident and what it embodies is a shocking reminder that no lessons have been learnt from the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal. Twenty years after the world’s worst industrial disaster, communities and workers continue to operate in complete ignorance when it comes to the hazardous substances stored and processes deployed in their neighborhoods. Throughout India, if more communities are not being wiped out by chemical disasters, that is not because of the legally mandated precautions or policing by regulatory authorities, but by sheer chance, favourable wind conditions and the communities’ good fortune.

Read the Greenpeace laboratory report on pollution from Hindustan Insecticides Limited

To see larger versions of the pictures click here

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