containers full of toxic substances "exported" to India are lying unclaimed in several inland container depots, reports a high-powered panel looking into the issue of hazardous wastes. The ministry for environment and forests ( mef ) had formed the panel after a Supreme Court's order when environmentalists warned that the country is becoming a dumping ground for toxic wastes.
The panel headed by M G K Menon, prominent scientist, had visited Mumbai and Goa to carry out its investigation. Menon has expressed anxiety about the lack of properly designed disposal sites in India for hazardous wastes.
The mef claims that it is taking necessary measures to collect information about waste material at various ports and container depots. Environmentalists, however, say despite several reminders from the court, the process of the ministry is still slow.
Members of the expert panel say that the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust at Mumbai received 126 containers of imported hazardous wastes in 1996-97. Whereas nearly 262 containers having "various scrap items" had been lying in the Bombay Port Trust harbour.
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