New Delhi: After detection of traces of heavy metals like lead and cadmium in discharged effluent samples of Coca-Cola's Jalpaigudi plant, the National Green Tribunal has said the metals "may also be present" in the factory's product and has expressed concern over the possibility.
The tribunal has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to collect and analyse the samples of discharged effluent from the plant before the renewal of the consent to operate the plant, saying the nod would depend upon the CPCB report.
The NGT, however, allowed Hindustan Cocacola Beverages Pvt Ltd's plea and quashed West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) order dated May 2, 2011, which had directed the soft drink manufacturer to deposit Rs five lakhs towards "pollution cost" along with a bank guarantee of a like amount as surety for compliance with environmental standards.
"Before parting, we feel it proper to express our concern with regard to the presence of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium in discharged effluent. Presence of said substances in the effluent would finally contaminate the environment, and shall cause hazards to human life.
"It appears, no steps, howsoever has been taken by the WBPCB or by the Appellant to trace out the source of such heavy metals found in the effluent. It is quite possible that heavy metals/ lead and cadmium etc. may also be present in the products.
"We, therefore, direct the WBPCB as well as the appellant (Coca-Cola) to conduct analysis of the water and raw materials used for the purpose, and not only detect the source but also take appropriate steps for eradicating the same so as to avoid any adverse health impacts," a bench of NGT headed by Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu said.