KSPCB to file criminal charges

Chemical Hazard

KSPCB to file criminal charges

Experts examining the barrels containing chemicals at railway backyard near Srirampuram  in Bangalore on Tuesday. DH photo

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) officials, who visited the spot on Tuesday, are set to book criminal charges against a Hassan-based pharmaceutical company, which is suspected to have carried out the disposal here.

The pungent smell emanating from the dumped waste has caused much concern among slum-dwellers and neighbouring residents about possible health impact it could pose. A trailer bearing a Hassan registration number was found at the spot. It is suspected that the driver abandoned the vehicle there after one of the tyres suffered a puncture.
Member Secretary, KSPCB, M S Goudar said that samples have been collected from the barrels and sent to the City’s Chemical Laboratory for analysis. “A pharmaceutical company from Hassan has indulged in this activity. The lorry owner has been traced and a criminal case will be booked against the concern under the Water Act, as soon as it is located,” he said.

According to KSPCB officials, the chemical matter is supposed to be a solvent residue used during distillation by pharmaceutical companies. It is learnt that only five or six companies in the City are currently using such material for distillation.

Dumping of waste in this manner is just not permitted, Goudar added. Samples of the soil in the area have also been taken for analysis. It was being ascertained if waste matter had been dumped earlier too and the soil had become contaminated on account of that.
“If the soil has been found to be contaminated, they would all be removed and disposed off at the Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility of KSPCB at Dabaspet,” he added.
The KSPCB was in the process of clearing up the dumped matter, said Railway Police Force (RPF) Inspector at City railway station, K V Rathish Babu. “The Srirampuram Police station has booked a case and are investigating the matter. An RPF personnel has been sent to Hassan to trace the present owner of the vehicle.” Though the vehicle number has been identified, it could be a vehicle passed over from the actual owner to other hands.

Meanwhile, the Srirampuram police have stated that a case under rash and negligent act endangering human life has been booked against the perpetrator who is yet to be identified. “We are yet to ascertain the content in the barrel to find who has been using it. After the KSPCB gives us the final report we will take further action,” said a police official. The KSPCB and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) health officials who visited the spot have submitted a preliminary report on the issue to the Government.

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