The Madhya Pradesh government is ‘planning’ to move the Supreme Court over the incineration of the hazardous waste lying in the premises of the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, State environment minister Jayant Malaiya hinted in Indore on Tuesday.
While Mr. Malaiya could not be reached for a comment, news reports said Mr. Malaiya had categorically stated that the State government would not allow the incineration of the waste at Pithampur by waste-management firm Ramky Enviro Engineers.
The minister stated German multinational firm GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), formerly known as GTZ, had offered to incinerate the waste in Germany for a fraction of the cost offered by Ramky.
Mr. Malaiya said GIZ had offered to incinerate the waste for Rs.8 crore as against “Ramky's offer of Rs.36 crore”.
There is around 350 metric tonnes of hazardous waste lying in the UCIL factory in Bhopal, the disposal of which has consistently proved to be non-starter.
In February, the CPCB had allowed for the incineration to be conducted at Pithampur after the Maharashtra government refused to allow incineration at the DRDO facility in Nagpur, which was being considered as an alternative.
Recently, the Supreme Court had authorized the Ministry of Environment and Forests to direct the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the Central Pollution Control Board to conduct a trial-run of the incineration at Pithampur, near Indore.
However, residents of villages near Pithampur, along with local NGOs, have been protesting against the incineration of the waste at Pithampur.
The residents' concerns are not without basis. During an earlier trial run of the incineration at Pithampur in 2010, six workers were seriously injured and partially lost their vision after being exposed to the toxic waste.