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Panel recommends closure of HIL

By G. Krishnakumar

KOCHI, AUG. 23. The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) on hazardous waste has recommended closure of Hindustan Insecticides Ltd (HIL) at Eloor, near Kochi, for violating the conditions of authorisation as required under the hazardous waste rules.

The Committee has made the recommendation in a report submitted to the State Government based on the various inferences it made during a visit to the HIL plant recently.


The Committee has recommended that the company be allowed to reopen only if it could shift to clean technology and a new product mix. The Committee has noted that the sale and distribution of Endosulfan in Kerala is, in any event, banned pursuant to orders of the Kerala High Court.

The Committee has also recommended that FACT, Udyogamandal, be directed to hand over five acres of its land degraded by disposal of gypsum for constructing a Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) to the Government. The Committee has expressed its displeasure over the manner in which the company had discharged its gypsum wastes in the open environment.

The TSDF would be used to handle the wastes generated from the entire Udyogamandal area. The Committee has asked the Government to acquire the land under the Water Act if the company fails to hand over the land. The operator of the facility could be asked to secure the gypsum wastes as part of his contract since he would be entitled to Central Government subsidy for the construction of the TSDF. The Committee has felt that hazardous wastes should not leave the Udyogamandal area and the facility should be located in the same area itself.

Directive to PCB

The Committee has directed the Pollution Control Board (PCB) not to reopen Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd. Edayar, until the pollution of the Periyar river by the company is brought to a complete halt. The Committee has found that the hazardous waste storage in the company is not as per the rules. The quantity at site does not match with the authorisation granted. The unit had faced closure threat earlier for discharging hazardous wastes into the river through a concealed illegal pipeline.

The Committee has directed Binani Zinc Ltd, Binanipuram, Edayar, to ensure water supply to the neighbourhood after it was found that the company is responsible for the pollution of groundwater in the area. The company should supply water from its own treatment plant. Pipelines should be established to supply water. The Committee has also said that water should not be transported in tanker lorries.

`Withhold approvals'

The PCB has been directed to withhold approvals for construction and authorisation of any new ponds under the hazardous waste rules until an expert body is appointed to examine the points of sources of pollution from the unit. The PCB in consultation with the Committee has been asked to recommend an expert to conduct the study which should be completed within three months. Costs of the study will be borne by Binani Zinc.

It is reliably learnt that the Merchem company at Eloor will face closure as the Committee has ordered the PCB to close down all industrial units in the State that have no authorisation to operate under the Hazardous Waste Rules, 1989.

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