Auditor asks Department of Revenue to develop mechanism to monitor uncleared containers
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has expressed concern about hazardous freight lying uncleared at various inland container depots (ICD) for the past many years.
In its recent report, ‘Performance Audit of Working of Inland Container Depots and Container Freight Stations’, there were 469 containers of hazardous waste lying undisposed from periods ranging from 1 to 17 years as on March 31, 2017.
The containers, stationed at Rajasthan, Mumbai, Tughalakabad in Delhi and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, had live bombs, war material scrap, used tyres, metal scrap, hazardous chemicals and mixed waste.
“At ICD CONCOR, Kanakpura, falling under Jodhpur commissionerate, 27 live bombs and 19.4 MT of war material scrap were lying undisposed since 2008 which is a serious cause for concern. Similarly, at ICD, Udaipur and ICD, Bhagat Ki Kothi, falling under Jodhpur commissionerate, 195 kg of empty cartridge shells and 102.8 Metric Tonnes of war material scrap were lying undisposed since 2004,” the report read.
It further noted that the delay in clearing the backlog was because of delays in issue of no objection certificates by the customs department, clearance certificates from participating agencies such as plant quarantine and pollution control and implementing orders for destruction of cargo and delay in re-export of containers.
The auditor suggested a number of measures including a website on ICDs to be developed by the Department of Commerce where updated database and real-time information on operations of ICDs could be accessed by all concerned.
It also asked the government to make a legal provision for initiating stringent action against defaulting importers and shipping lines.
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