Hazardous waste dumping in India: SC pulls up Centre
The Supreme Court today pulled up the Centre for taking waste from other countries and allowing it to be dumped in the country at the cost of the citizens' health. "You (Centre) are taking waste from other countries and allowing it to be dumped here. You make money out of it but citizens of this country face the consequences," a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said. The bench also refused to give much time to the Centre for filing response to the plea seeking to curb the dumping of hazardous waste from other countries in India. "We are not going to let go this petition. This issue is so important. You cannot bypass the regulations. Please do something," a bench also comprising Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said. It asked the Centre to file a consolidated affidavit within four weeks after the petitioner consolidates all current issues pertaining to hazardous waste and furnishes a summary to the government. "You can examine the orders and see what is going on and then come with a consolidated affidavit. This is serious issue," the apex court said and posted the matter for further hearing on March 31. Advocate Sanjay Parekh, appearing for NGO Research Foundation for Science, said that the authorities were giving permission and allowing disposal of hazardous and contaminated materials in the country which is affecting the health of the people. He said that rules and norms are not being followed despite several directions by the apex court. Earlier, on the plea of NGO, the apex court had denied permission to a foreign ship, which was involved in one of the worst-ever oil spills off Alaska in 1989, to anchor off the Gujarat coast for dismantling. The NGO had alleged that the ship was contaminated and that the 1989 Basel Convention made it mandatory for a ship to be decontaminated at the port of the exporting country before being sent for dismantling. The Basel Convention had come up in 1989 following an outcry over toxic wastes being exported to the developing countries.