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Issue 10
, 2009
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Dispose Union Carbide waste: SC

The waste creating soil,air and air pollution for last 24 years
Source: The Indian Express,New Delhi, Date: , 2009

gas emissionsThe Supreme Court has directed the Centre and MP and Gujarat govts to resolve the issue relating to disposal of around 350 metric tonnes of hazardous toxic waste from the now-defunct Union Carbide India Ltd's plant in Bhopal. The uncertainty over the fate of the toxic waste has been prevailing for more than two decades.
The waste is allegedly causing air, soil and water pollution as it is lying at the plant of the Union Carbide India Ltd (now Dow Chemicals) for the last 24 years. A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan asked the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers to decide the issue with the other two states and inform the court about the final decision on February 20, the next date of hearing. The Union Carbide plant at Bhopal is the site of one of the largest industrial disasters (Bhopal gas tragedy) in the world. More than 17,000 people had died due to release of 42 tonnes of toxic methyle isocyanate on December 3, 1984.
The issue has reached the apex court in an appeal filed by the Gujarat government challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court's order that cleared the transportation of several tonnes of toxic waste from Bhopal plant to Ankleshwar in Gujarat by the end of January 2009.
The High Court while setting aside objections raised by the Gujarat government and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) had directed the authorities to carry the toxic waste to Ankleshwar for disposal in the incinerator of Bharuch Eviro Infrastructure Ltd.
The order of the High Court, which had also threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against those who objected to disposal of the toxic waste at Ankleshwar, had come on a petition by a social activist seeking direction for safe disposal of the waste.