‘No protocol to verify hazardous containers’
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.
NDRF Experts scout the site of the cargo leak.