foreign vessels carrying hazardous wastes are fast turning India into a global dumping ground. Investigations made by the international environmental group Greenpeace and Shrishti, a Delhi-based non governmental organisation, revealed that international waste traders dump toxic wastes here in violation of all local and international laws framed in the Basel convention. "The situation is completely out of control. Every Indian port is a floodgate standing open and the world's waste traders know it. India is receiving the worst waste of the wasteful nations on the planet -- the effluent of the affluent," said Jan Rispens of Greenpeace.
According to their findings, as many as 151 Indian trading companies had imported nearly 66,000 metric tonnes of toxic zinc and lead ashes, residues, skimmings and dross from 49 countries in the last two years alone. Refuting these figures, an environment ministry official claimed that only five firms have been given licence to import hazardous metallic waste for recycling and only from three countries -- Germany, South Korea and Netherlands. The Basel convention requires countries to gradually eliminate trading in recyclable toxic waste.
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