Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dumping US Toxic Waste in India...

The port city of Tuticorin, where my maternal grandfather is from, is
one of the loveliest towns I have been to. With it's salt pans and
period housing and charming people it is a laid back little town, and
now here we go polluting it with toxic waste.

The Times Of India reports that, "Thousand tonnes of hazardous
American waste have been dumped at Tamil Nadu's Tuticorn Port, where
almost 35 large containers conceal the waste, that has been lying
untouched for the past three years. There is reportedly an amount of
890 tonnes of harmful waste that has been brought all the way from New
Jersey. The biggest question though is if it is a case of civic apathy
or a classic case of the West treating India as a dumping ground.

Since the past three years, contaminated municipal waster such as
polythene bags, crushed soft drink cans, pesticide containers, used
batteries, metal wires and others more have been rotting away at the
port. The cargo reportedly reached India as a part of wastepaper
imported by an Indian company back in 2005. However, during the
routine checks, port authorities -- much to their shock -- discovered
that the cargo did not have only paper but carcenogenic waster
discarded by America.

However, the fact that has been interesting is that in September 2007,
a committee constituted by the Madras High Court had certified that
the American garbage posed a threat to the people of India and the
environment. Following this, the Madras High Court demanded that this
trash be sent back to New Jersey immediately. But, much to the horror
of environmentalists, the scrap still lies around the area and the
Indian company is unwilling to take responsibility of the cargo. The
Americans also are refusing to take the waste back. BP Shukla, Zonal
Officer - South Central Pollution Control Board said, "This
consignment has municipal waste that cannot be allowed inside India."

In all probabilities , most of the townsfolk, innocent and naive as
they are would probably not even be aware of this and would have been
affected by the toxic waste already! Earlier a similar incident
occurred when toxic waste from New York was dumped in another charming
port city, Kochi!!!

Read the full Times of India article at--

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