West treating India as a dumping ground

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West treating India as a dumping ground

Post  Admin on Tue 27 Jan 2009, 10:40

Thousand tonnes of hazardous American waste have been dumped at Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin Port, where almost 35 large containers conceal the waste, that has been lying untouched for the past three years.

There is reportedly an amount of 890 tonnes of harmful waste that has been brought all the way from New Jersey. The biggest question though is if it is a case of civic apathy or a classic case of the West treating India as a dumping ground.

Since the past three years, contaminated municipal waster such as polythene bags, crushed soft drink cans, pesticide containers, used batteries, metal wires and others more have been rotting away at the port.

The cargo reportedly reached India as a part of wastepaper imported by an Indian company back in 2005. However, during the routine checks, port authorities -- much to their shock -- discovered that the cargo did not have only paper but carcenogenic waster discarded by America.

However, the fact that has been interesting is that in September 2007, a committee constituted by the Madras High Court had certified that the American garbage posed a threat to the people of India and the environment. Following this, the Madras High Court demanded that this trash be sent back to New Jersey immediately.

But, much to the horror of environmentalists, the scrap still lies around the area and the Indian company is unwilling to take responsibility of the cargo. The Americans also are refusing to take the waste back. BP Shukla, Zonal Officer - South Central Pollution Control Board said, "This consignment has municipal waste that cannot be allowed inside India."

This is not the first time that the West has used India as a dumpyard. In October 2007, a huge controversy erupted after large amounts of toxic waste sent from New York was seized at the Kochi port. Similarly there have been huge furores in the past over the dismantling of toxic laden ships like the Blue Lady and Clemencau in India.

Port authorities said that this is not the first time hazardous waste has piled up, but waste in such huge proportions can be a huge problem. However, caught in legal wrangles- 890 tonnes continue to rot away here at the Tuticorin port.

(Courtesy: TOI)

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