346 tonnes of hazardous waste still lying at Union Carbide premises

346 tonnes of hazardous waste still lying at Union Carbide premises

346 tonnes of hazardous waste still lying at Union Carbide premises
Nearly 32 years after the Bhopal Gas tragedy which claimed thousands of lives, the Centre today said nearly 350 tonnes of hazardous waste is "safely secured" inside the factory premises of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL).

"Approximately 346 tonnes of hazardous waste is safely secured and kept in the factory premises of UCIL, Bhopal.

"Waste is segregated into four categories which are sevin residue and naphthol residue (95 tonnes), reactor residue (30 tonnes), semi-processed pesticide (56 tonnes) and excavated waste or contaminated soil (165 tonnes)," Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

He was replying to a question whether toxic waste after the tragedy was still lying at the UCIL factory.

He said that in line with the approved plan of the government, the Madhya Pradesh government is responsible for safe disposal of the waste while Supreme court is monitoring the disposal of the waste and remediation of the site.

"In pursuance of the orders of Supreme Court in April 2014, the Ministry has authorised Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to incinerate 10 tonnes of UCIL waste at treatment, storage and disposal facility during August 2015.

"The Ministry has further sought directions from the Supreme Court on the future roadmap for disposal of the remaining waste and remediation of the contaminated site," Javadekar said.

As per reports, over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other chemicals. Although estimates vary on the death toll, the official immediate death toll was 2,259 while the Madhya Pradesh government later confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.

A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak caused 5,58,125 injuries, including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries, reports suggest.
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