SCMC suggests shifting of some units from Eloor

Staff Reporter

Proposal to be included in final report

KOCHI: The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) on hazardous wastes has recommended shifting of a few industrial units in the Eloor-Edayar industrial belt to alternative sites for protection of Periyar River.

The recommendation would be included in the final report on the hazardous waste scenario in the State to be submitted before the apex court in March.

The committee found that toxic discharge from these units affected the natural ecology of the river. Shifting of these units to alternative sites would help in restoring the river in its original condition, it observed.

Coordinator of the Kerala sub-committee for Kerala Claude Alvares said on Saturday that the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) would have to initiate stringent measures for protecting the Periyar.

He said the recommendations for saving the river from extinction would be included in the final report. Dr. Alvares said the committee would recommend the board to revive the Local Area Environment Committee.

In its directive issued to the board earlier, the SCMC had pointed out that members of the local area environment committee should ensure that the industrial units were not dumping hazardous waste into the Periyar either in the form of solid waste or liquid effluent containing hazardous wastes.

The local area committee was also directed to maintain a proper material balance of various chemicals and waste used and generated on the premises of each unit. Members of the committee were also asked to identify and seal unauthorised outlets into the river.

Dr. Alvares said the final report of the SCMC would also recommend Cochin Port Trust (CPT) authorities to check import of waste oil.

The CPT would have to ensure that all consignments listed under seven categories, including paper wastes and furnace oil, should be returned to the country of export if found violating the hazardous wastes rules.

The CPT and Customs authorities would have to ensure that all consignment listed under the categories such as paper wastes, furnace oil, waste oil/used oil, low sulphur waxy residue, non-ferrous metal scrap in any form, plastic scrap and wax in drums should be inspected within a week of arrival.