Ignoring presence of high-level toxic metals in the groundwater in Narela Industrial area, Delhi government has initiated a housing project there, risking the health of prospective occupants, an expert panel has said.

Taking serious note in the matter, State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) has asked the project proponent, Delhi State Infrastructural and Industrial Development Corporation (DSIIDC), to look into the issue of health hazards before continuing with the construction work.

The SEAC led by environmentalist C R Babu in a meeting sought response from DSIIDC for not seeking green clearance for the project spread over in an area of 55077.65 square meters meant for industrial workers.

“The project, worth Rs 44.55 crore, does not meet the requirement for environmental clearance. But still they had gone ahead with the construction work. We have sought reasons for it,” Mr. Babu said.

The SEAC has also asked Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to find out the source of arsenic and mercury in ground water and units responsible for groundwater pollution.

“The source (for arsenic) has to be checked. Arsenic is a carcinogen which causes many cancers including skin, lung, and bladder as well as cardiovascular disease,” Mr. Babu told PTI.

The Committee also sought details on number of industries in the area and report on groundwater quality analysis for heavy metals (particularly Arsenic and Mercury) by an accredited laboratory.

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