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No solution in sight for hazardous waste at Cuncolim estate
December 6, 2012
MARGAO: Concerned authorities and agencies continue to pass the buck over the contentious issue of the removal or treatment of the 25,000 tons of hazardous waste lying unattended at the Cuncolim industrial estate.
A fortnight after Goa State Pollution Control Board’s served a 15-day deadline on the Goa Industrial Development
Corporation to submit a detailed “Action Plan” to treat the hazardous waste, the GIDC has come out with a reply that it will serve a notice on the present occupier of the industrial plot to take action with eight days.
IDC Managing Director F O Hashmi told Herald on Wednesday that the IDC has decided to direct Ms Axis Ltd to comply with the Pollution Board directions on the question of setting up of a captive land fill site for the treatment and disposal of the accumulated hazardous waste located at plot no L-2 and L-3 at the earmarked quarry.
Hasmi said the IDC has decided to initiate action against Ms Axis if the company fails to comply with the Board directives.
He, however, could not specify the action contemplated by the IDC against Ms Axis if the company defaulted in complying with the directions.
“Our reply to the GSPCB’s notice will be sent to the Board on Wednesday”, Hashmi said.
Incidentally, the Pollution Board had on November 14 issued the directions to the IDC under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 read with Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Trans Boundary Movement) Rules, 2008.
In fact, the GSPCB Chairman had warned the IDC that failure to comply with the directions would compel the Board to initiate legal action as per the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which includes prosecution as per Section 15 of the Act.
Pollution Control Board directions to the IDC is based on the premise that it had earlier issued consent to Ms Sunrise Zinc Ltd, for setting up a captive landfill site for the treatment and disposal of the accumulated hazardous waste at the earmarked quarry, which is not constructed till date.
Pollution Control Board records speaks of heaps of hazardous waste (approximately 25,000 tons) is stacked in plot No L-2 earlier occupied by Ms Sunrise Zinc Ltd, which has been take over by the State Bank of India, Stressed Assets Management and subsequently handed over to Ms Axis.
Earlier this year, the GSPCB had directed the Cuncolim to register criminal offenses against Sunrise Zinc, SBI, Stressed Assets Management and Ms Axis.
Though the police were prompt in registering the cases, the case has not moved forward since then.