Live bombs, war scrap ly­ing in con­tainer de­pots

Haz­ardous Waste In Delhi, Mum­bai & Raj, Warns CAG

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

New Delhi: At least 469 con­tain­ers of haz­ardous waste, in­clud­ing live bombs, war ma­te­rial scrap and dan­ger­ous chem­i­cal waste, have been found at in­land con­tainer de­pots (ICDs) of the cus­toms and con­tainer freight sta­tions (CFSs) in Ra­jasthan, Tugh­lak­abad in Delhi, and Mum­bai, a Comptroller and Au­di­tor Gen­eral (CAG) au­dit re­port has re­vealed.

Many of the live bombs en­tered as “shred­ded scrap” from Ban­dar Ab­bas port in Iran and other places, which are be­lieved to be the re­mains from the US war on Iraq and Syria and from Afghanistan. Some of the im­ported con­tain­ers seized by the cus­toms are wait­ing to be de­stroyed, while many have al­ready reached foundries in Ghazi­abad and Mo­rad­abad for the ex­trac­tion of brass and other met­als, the re­port says.

“The au­dit found in test checks at 85 ICDs and CFSs (at load­ing ports), as on 31st March 2017, that there were 469 con­tain­ers of haz­ardous waste ly­ing undis­posed from pe­ri­ods rang­ing from one to 17 years,” said the au­dit re­port tabled in Par­lia­ment on De­cem­ber 8.

These con­tain­ers, many of which have been aban­doned by im­porters, in­cluded live bombs, war ma­te­rial scrap in three In­land Con­tainer De­pots (ICDs) in Ra­jasthan, 92 con­tain­ers of used tyres, metal scarp and haz­ardous chem­i­cals in a Con­tainer Freight Sta­tion (CFS) un­der Mum­bai Cus­toms Zone II and 15 con­tain­ers of haz­ardous cargo in ICD Tugh­lak­abad and 50 con­tain­ers of mixed waste in ICD Mo­rad­abad, ac­cord­ing to the CAG.

The au­di­tor has raised con­cerns at the ab­sence of rules for re-ex­port­ing of con­tain­ers with haz­ardous waste that re­sulted in them ly­ing undis­posed.

There are 80 ac­tive ICDs in the coun­try han­dling an­nual im­port and ex­port worth Rs 4.27 lakh crore. Un­claimed car­gos with war re­mains are dan­ger­ous to for­eign trade and even a small fire may cause ex­plo­sions.

Data col­lected by the CAG on undis­posed con­tain­ers from 80 ICDs/CFSs has re­vealed that 7,877 con­tain­ers have been oc­cu­py­ing stor­age area of 1.17 lakh square me­tres. “Out of these, 3,397 con­tain­ers were pend­ing dis­posal for more than three years,” it said.

Full re­port on www.toi.in

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