Toxic waste from Bhopal plant being 'secretly' removed

2015-08-14 13:10

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - More than three decades after the Bhopal gas disaster, Indian authorities have started removing toxic waste from the site for incineration, officials and news reports said on Friday.

Some 350 tons of solid waste have been lying at the defunct pesticide plant in the state of Madhya Pradesh, where a gas leak killed at least 15 000 people in 1984.

Ten tons of the waste were shifted from Bhopal to a private incineration facility some 220km away in Dhar district, which began burning it on Thursday, the Hindustan Times reported.

"We have begun disposing of the waste in a scientific manner," Narottam Mishra, the state minister in charge of dealing with the aftermath of the disaster, confirmed to dpa over phone, without giving any more details.

The first loads of the dangerous cargo were taken by trucks a fortnight ago in "complete secrecy" to avoid possible opposition to the move, the newspaper report said.

'Trial run'

The clean-up of the factory, owned at the time by Union Carbide Corp, has been a highly controversial issue, due to opposition from environmentalists and residents over possible health hazards.

The German government development agency GIZ had pulled out of a project to transport and burn the toxic waste after a public outcry in Germany.

Officials said the "trial run" to dispose of the waste follows a Supreme Court order and the process will take five days. If the trial is successful, the remaining waste will be removed and destroyed in the same way, the report said.

The waste, comprising mainly pesticides and heavy metals, is stored inside a warehouse at the Bhopal site.

It is not directly connected with the release of the deadly gas that claimed thousands of lives, but comes from the earlier dumping of chemicals from 1969 to 1984.

Activists claim that 1 million tons of waste are lying at the abandoned factory site and are contaminating soil and groundwater and damaging the health of thousands who live nearby.

Read more on:    india  |  pollution

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.