Dumping ground

Published: Sunday 15 October 2000

more than 100,887 tonnes of hazardous and potentially hazardous wastes has entered India, in violation of a Supreme Court order. This was stated in a report complied by the Indian unit of Greenpeace, an international pressure group. Greenpeace has compiled the data, based on the government statistics for the year 1998-99. The Supreme Court, in 1997, had banned the export of hazardous and potentially hazardous waste, after Greenpeace reported that waste zinc ash containing high levels of heavy metals had been imported from Germany in 1995 by Bharat Zinc Limited, a waste recovery facility.

According to Greenpeace officials, the "go-ahead-and-dump-on-us" attitude of the ministry of environment and forests ( mef ) has lead to this problem. "Due to their lax attitude, and attempts to dilute the s upreme c ourt order by seeking entry for selected hazardous wastes, they have brought us back to square one as far as hazardous waste dumping in India is concerned," says Nityanand Jayaraman, Asia toxic campaigner of Greenpeace-India.

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