‘No pro­to­col to ver­ify haz­ardous con­tain­ers’

The Indian Express - - THE CITY - EX­PRESS NEWS SER­VICE

TUGHLAKABAD GAS LEAK

THERE ARE no steps, pro­to­cols or Stan­dard Op­er­at­ing Pro­ce­dures (SOPS) to ver­ify whether the con­tain­ers ar­riv­ing at the In­land Con­tainer De­pot (ICD) in Tughlakabad are haz­ardous, the Delhi gov­ern­ment has in­formed the Delhi High Court.

Se­nior stand­ing coun­sel for the Delhi gov­ern­ment, Rahul Mehra, made the sub­mis­sion af­ter the Con­tainer Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (CON­COR), which op­er­ates the de­pot, pro­vided an un­der­tak­ing that it would re­move all such haz­ardous con­tain­ers af­ter re­ceiv­ing clear­ance from the Cus­toms Depart­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the stand­ing coun­sel, there had to be “bare min­i­mum mea­sures” to be fol­lowed be­sides be­ing im­ple­mented in let­ter and spirit to ver­ify the haz­ardous con­tain­ers and en­sure such an in­ci­dent was not re­peated. There were also no pro­to­cols to en­sure how a haz­ardous con­tainer was treated, said the coun­sel, adding, there was no sep­a­rate ear­marked area to pre­vent the nox­ious fumes from leak­ing in the en­vi­ron­ment in the case of a gas leak.

“These haz­ardous con­tain­ers from the ICD also could not be re­lo­cated in any other state or area as cit­i­zens ev­ery­where were cit­i­zens of In­dia,” he said.

Mean­while, the Cus­toms Depart­ment said the con­tain­ers could not be re­moved with­out their per­mis­sion. Im­plead­ing them as a party in the case, Jus­tice Ashutosh Ku­mar has posted the mat­ter for Mon­day.

The judge also stayed one of the di­rec­tions of the SDM of south­east dis­trict till Mon­day — is­sued on May 9 — to re­move all ma­te­rial which could re­sult in a health haz­ard to peo­ple.

A to­tal of 475 school­girls study­ing at Rani Jhansi Sar­vo­daya Kanya Vidyalaya were ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal af­ter they in­haled the chem­i­cal which leaked from a con­tainer in Tughlakabad area on May 6.

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