New Delhi: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Friday told the Supreme Court that it was ready to undertake the trial run for the disposal of 10 tonnes of hazardous waste from Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) plant at an incineration facility near Madhya Pradesh`s Indore city.
Nearly 28 years back in a worst ever industrial disaster, hundreds of people lost their lives in Bhopal when a toxic gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant on the night of Dec 2, 1984.
The CPCB told a bench of Justice G.S.Singhvi and Justice V.Gopala Gowda that the process of packaging, transportation and storage of the hazardous waste must begin immediately.
As CPCB pushed for the trial run for the disposal of hazardous waste from the UCC plant in Bhopal, senior counsel Ravi Shankar Prasad, appearing for the state government, pleaded that the elections to the state assembly were due in third week of November and any such move may trigger protests in the state.
Appearing for the CPCB, counsel Vijay Panjwani told the court trial run for the disposal of similar hazardous waste from Hindustan Insecticide Limited at the Pithampur incineration facility has been done successfully.
He told the court that the trial run for the disposal of hazardous waste from Kerala based Hindustan Insecticide Ltd. has shown that Pithampur incineration facility was capable of incinerating such waste without releasing any fugitive gases.
The court was told that the result of the treatment process shows that Pithampur incineration plant complied with the standards laid down by the CPCB.
Resisting the move for the trial run for the waste disposal, Prasad once again drew the attention of the court towards the coming state assembly elections and threats of imminent protest by the people.
At this, the court inquired from counsel for Bhopal Group whether there would be any protest if trial runs were permitted. As counsel needed to take instruction from his client, the court adjourned hearing for one week.
Even 28 years after the tragedy struck the people of Bhopal living in and around the UCC plant, 350 tonnes of hazardous waste is lying in the plant premises.