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Anderson’s death without appearance in Indian court shows US did not honor US India Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance

Written By Gopal Krishna on Friday, October 31, 2014 | 5:36 AM

Press Statement

Anderson’s death without appearance in Indian court shows US did not honor US India Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance

Anderson’s death remained secret for a month, like Union Carbide Corporation’s trade secret

Partially declassified CIA documents of December 8, 1984 reveal, Rajiv Gandhi ordered his release  

October 31, 2014: Warren Anderson’s death without appearing in the Bhopal court demonstrates that US Government failed to comply promptly with their obligations under the US India Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and to support efforts to ensure that Dow and UCC comply with the summons issued by the CJM.

About 30 years before his death on September 29, 2014 at a nursing home in Vero Beach, Florida, USA, Warren Anderson was arrested at 2 PM on December 7, 1984 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, grievous assault and killing and poisoning human beings and animals.

The very first accused that the judgment on the Bhopal Gas Disaster in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, dated June 7, 2010 mentions is: “Sri Warren Anderson S/O Sri John Martin Anderson Former Chairman, Carbide Corporation, 39, Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury USA 06817 (Absconder)”.

The concluding paragraph no. 226 of CJM’s verdict reads: “Mr. Warren Anderson, UCC USA and UCC Kowlnn Hongkong are still absconding and therefore, every part of this case (Criminal File) is kept intact alognwith the exhibited and unexhibited documents and the property related to this case, in safe custody, till their appearance.” Government of USA ensured that he never appeared in the Bhopal court in India.

Anderson was the supreme authority for Bhopal based plant of UCC’s subsidiary. It was under the supervision of the Executive Vice-President, Agricultural Products Division, UCC who was directly answerable to Warren Anderson. Anderson approved and ratified the double standards in design, safety and operations by which UCC imposed at its subsidiary in Bhopal in comparison to its Institute, West Virginia factory in USA.

The attached partially declassified CIA document of December 8, 1984 revealed that Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister led government ordered Anderson’s release the same day in an extra-constitutional manner and red carpet send off to him on a state government plane to New Delhi and from there to USA after meeting President of India and others.   

Anderson was released on a Bail Bond in Hindi dated December 7, 1984 reads:
“I, Warren M Anderson s/o John Martin Anderson am resident of 63/54 Greenidge Hills Drive, Greenidge, Connecticut, USA. I am the Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation, America. I have been arrested by Hanumanganj Police Station, District Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India under Criminal Sections 304 A, 304, 120 B, 278, 429, 426 & 92. I am signing this bond for Rs. 25,000/- and thus undertaking to be present whenever and wherever I am directed to be present by the police or the Court.”

It was signed by Anderson. His signature was obtained after the language of this bond was translated into English and read out to him.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed charge sheet against Warren Anderson, chairman of UCC on December 1, 1987. Several summons served on Anderson through Interpol. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Bhopal proclaimed Anderson an absconder on February 9, 1989 for repeatedly ignoring summons and directed him to be present in its court on March 31, 1989.  

A proclamation was issued on December 7, 1991 by CJM, Bhopal ordering Anderson – accused No.1, UCC, USA to present himself before the court on February 1, 1992. On February 1, 1992, the CJM declared Anderson as a fugitive from law for his non-appearance in the criminal case and proclaimed him as an absconder.

CJM, Bhopal issued a non-bailable warrant of arrest against Anderson on April 10, 1992 and ordered the Government of India to seek extradition of Anderson from the USA.

On February 27, 2003, the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances' presented a report to the Parliament sought an Action Taken Report from the government in the matter of Anderson's extradition without delay.  

The Government of India examined the matter in1993 and it did not act promptly. India’s request for the extradition of Anderson has been pending. Government of India sent the first notice to Government of USA in this regard in May 2003.  Government of USA told Government of India on July 2, 2004 that they would not consider extradition because the request "does not meet the requirements of their Extradition Treaty with India. In June 2010, the CBI along with the union ministry of law, ministry of external affairs and the Attorney General of India worked together for additional material in the case. A fresh notice attested by the court chief metropolitan magistrate Tis Hazari, New Delhi was sent to the Government of USA.

It is noteworthy that the request for Anders’s extradition was communicated to the Department of Justice, Government of USA. Besides the summons for Anderson from the Bhopal Court were also communicated to Department of Justice, USA.

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) holds that Government of USA has adopted double standards in the matter of liability for the Bhopal gas disaster due to leakage of 40 tonnes of lethal methyl isocyanate gas and other undisclosed gases from UCC’s plant into the surrounding environment, which has caused more than 23,000 deaths and lakhs of disabilities.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh High Court has held UCC’s parent company, Dow Chemicals Company responsible for the clean-up of the contaminated site in an ongoing case. Also Bhopal Court has asked Dow to appear before it on November 12, 2014 for its failure to ensure appearance of UCC. It is quite unlikely that had Anderson been alive, Department of Justice, Government of USA would have served the summons to him in pursuance with its obligations under MLA.   

Anderson personified corporate crime but his death does not end the quest of justice against the corporate manslaughter, inter-generational assault and ongoing contamination in Bhopal. In the history of mankind his name and face will remain synonymous with corporate barbarism.     

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660, E-mail:gopalkrishna1715@gmail.com, Web:www.toxicswatch.org


Koilwar Villagers Reject Ramky Company's Proposal for Hazardous Waste Burning Plant in Bhojpur

Written By Gopal Krishna on Thursday, October 16, 2014 | 7:54 AM



Opposition parties pledge to stop Koilwar from becoming a waste capital

October 16, 2014/Koilwar, Bhojpur/Patna: Villagers of Koilwar rejected Hyderabad based Ramky company's proposal for hazardous waste burning plant in Daulatpur Panchayat on the bank of Sone rivver at the public organised today Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB). 

Several left and socialist parties pledged to stop Koilwar from becoming a waste capital. A site visit by villagers revealed that the project is proposed in the river bed of Sone river in the vicinity of residential areas of the village in the proximity of the main road in an area of 57.24 acres. Villagers informed the Suresh Kumar Sinha, Additional District Magistrate (Upar Samaharta), Bhojpur and the BSPCB Officials, Nand Kumar and S N Jaiswal and Circle Officer, Koilwar that this project was rejected by Union Environment Ministry's Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) in its meeting dated 8-9 November, 2012. The minutes of EAC are available on EAC's website..

They raised questions about the circumstances under which this project got approval for public hearing in June 2013.

In the public hearing it was submitted by the villagers that Delhi High Court's order in a similar case observed that “Residents living within 10 km of an incinerator, refinery, and waste disposal site” showed “Significant increase in laryngeal cancer in men living with closer proximity to the incinerator and other pollution sources”. It observed that the “Residents living around an incinerator and other pollution sources” showed “Significant increase in lung cancer related specifically to theincinerator”. The “People living within 7.5 km of 72 incinerators” displayed “Risks of all cancers and specifically of stomach, colorectal, liver and lung cancer increased with closer proximity to incinerators”. (Source:
http://www.delhicourts.nic.in/Jan13/P.K.%20Nayyar%20vs.%20UOI.pdf)

Members of Paryawaran Bachao Jeewan Bachao Sangharsh Morcha. Koilwar and Paryawaran Swasthya Suraksha Samiti, Giddha raised submitted that the Minutes of the 118th Meeting of the EAC held on 8th-9th November, 2012 reveals that the EAC concluded that M/s Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd the project “Proponent has not justified selection of the site and also there is a habitation at about 200 m from the site which is not advisable for this type of Hazardous waste handling and incineration activity.”

Villagers like Dharmatma Sharma, co-founder of Paryawaran Swasthya Suraksha Samiti and senior power engineer and noted whistle blower A K Jain (in picture) questioned the inconsistent claims of the Ramky company about land, water and power by comparing its project with other projects. Jain said that the company has not disclosed that this site is flood prone. This can cause Bhopal Gas leak like disaster.  

The villagers submitted the judgment of the Delhi High Court to the presiding officer of the public hearing. The judgment refers to ‘The summary of “Epidemiological Studies on Adverse Health Effects Associated with Incineration” would show that medical waste incinerators are a leading source of dioxins and mercury in the environment and there is link between incinerator emissions and adverse health impacts on incinerator workers and residents living around the incinerators.’ (Source:
http://www.delhicourts.nic.in/Jan13/P.K.%20Nayyar%20vs.%20UOI.pdf)

The Court’s judgment reads: “Both older and more modern incinerators can contribute to the contamination of local soil and vegetation with dioxins and heavy metals. In several European countries, cows milk from farms located in the vicinity of incinerators has been found to contain elevated levels of dioxin, in some cases above regulatory limits. Increased levels of dioxins have been found in the tissues of residents near to incinerators in the UK, Spain and Japan. At an incinerator in Finland, mercury was increased in hair of residents living in the vicinity. Children living near a modern incinerator in Spain were found to have elevated levels of urinary thioethers, a biomarker of toxic exposure. “ It notes that “After 2 years of operation of incinerator, dioxins levels were found increased by about 25% in both groups living between 0.5 to 1.5 and 3.5 to 4.0 km away (201 people) of people. In the repeat analysis, the increase was in the range of 10-15%”.

The judgment records that “Mothers living close to incinerators and crematoria from 1956 to 1993” showed “increased risk of lethal congenital abnormalities, in particular, spinal bifida and heart defects, near incinerators: increased risk of stillbirths and anacephalus near crematoria”.

Ramky's EIA report is quite misleading. It ignores the nearest schools, hospitals, CRPF camp and the Koilwar railway station. It refers to Ara railway station as the nearest railway station. BSPCB does not have the capacity to test and monitor dioxins emissions. It came to light that BSPCB is not enforcing environmental laws in the 99-125 factories from which hazardous industrial waste is generated which requires disposal and treatment at the palce of their generation.    

Citing these facts at the public hearing held on 16.10.2014 at Ambika Sharan Singh High School, Jamalpur, Post- Naya Mohammadpur, District- Bhojpur, the villagers said that they will pay any price to stop waste from hundreds of factories and thousands of hospitals from coming to Koilwar due to imminent public health crisis the present and future generations of residents of villages on the Babura-Koilwar road in Bhojpur, Bihar. 

EAC, BSPCB and District Magistrate, Bhojpur besides Bihar Human Rights Commission and R K Singh, Member of Parliament, Ara have been informed in writing about these public health and environmental concerns. Mukhiya of Daulatpur panchayat, Nand Kumar and ex-Mukhiya Prabhunath Singh and social worker Ganga Sagar Singh who were present at the venue of the public hearing raised the question of adverse health effect of the proposed plant in the 10 km radius of its location. A copy of the letter submitted to MP, Ara was shared with the ADM, Bhojpur. 

CPIML candidate for Ara in the 2014 elections, Raju Yadav expressed his party's support for the cause of saving Koilwar from becoming a dumping ground of hazardous wastes. It was apparent that there was unanimous political opposition to the Ramky's irresponsible, insensitive, anti-people, ant-environment and anti-health proposal.     


For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 08227816731, 09818089660
E-mail:gopalkrishna1715@gmail.com, Web: www.toxicswatch.org
 

BASF inaugurates Rs 1000 cr MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) complex in Dahej, Gujarat

Written By Gopal Krishna on Thursday, October 09, 2014 | 1:09 AM

Note: It came to light from a reply in the Parliament that some 92.4 metric tonnes of methyl monomer, a toxic compound used for making plastics, has been lying at the New Mangalore port because the importer, BASF has inadequate storage space in its factory premises. BASF dared the might of Government of India by refusing to remove its containers from the New Mangalore port by offering lame excuses. This act of BASF is the largest chemical company in the world which is headquartered in Germany whose “Methyl Monomer” containers are lying at New Mangalore port illustrates the true nature of ‘Responsible Care’. G K Vasan as Union Minister of Shipping informed the Parliament about it. BASF, the importer is the world’s largest producer of acrylic monomer. Is it convincing that such a company has “Inadequate storage space in the factory premises” as has been claimed by BASF India Limited?

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) had demanded investigation by a high powered EU agency. Pursuant to this demand Robert Donkers as Minister Counselor, Environment, Delegation of the European Union to India responded saying “I have forwarded your e-mail and your comments to my European Commission colleagues in Brussels who are in charge of ship dismantling issues and have asked them to comment”. TWA still awaits their reply and action in this regard. The current fate of the “Methyl Monomer” containers at the New Mangalore port is not known.

Gopal Krishna
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

BASF inaugurates Rs 1000 cr chemical complex in Dahej

South Asia's first MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) splitter will help make Gujarat a hub for value-adding industries
BS B2B Bureau  |  Dahej, Bharuch  October 7, 2014

German chemicals major BASF India Limited inaugurated its large-scale chemical production complex at Dahej in Gujarat today. With a project cost of Rs 1,000 crore (approximately Euro 150 million), the site represents BASF’s single largest investment in India.

The site was jointly inaugurated by Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat; Saurabhbhai Patel, Minister for Finance, Energy and Petrochemicals, Government of Gujarat and Michael Heinz, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE.

The site includes an integrated hub for polyurethane manufacturing and production facilities for care chemicals and polymer dispersions. The care chemicals facility at the Dahej site hosts the first BASF sulfation plant in India, which will cater to customers in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

The polymer dispersions plant will expand BASF’s production footprint in the dispersions business, complementing the Mangalore facility. It will serve paper and board, architectural coatings, construction, adhesives, and fibre bonding customers, located in northern and western India.

The integrated polyurethane manufacturing facility will host a MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) splitter for processing crude MDI, a core component in the manufacture of versatile polyurethane products. They are used extensively for cold as well as heat insulation applications and are the preferred material for improving safety in transportation, and enhancing energy efficiency and comfort at home.

Dr Raman Ramachandran, Chairman, BASF Companies in India & Head South Asia, said, “With this production hub, including the first MDI splitter in South Asia, we are well positioned to increase our long-term competitiveness significantly in this key market. We will serve our customers in the Asia Pacific region even better through stable product supply in terms of both quality and volume.”

The site will also produce Elastollan TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), Cellasto (microcellular polyurethane components) and polyurethane systems. The integrated hub will support the demand of industries in the appliances, footwear, automotive, construction, and furniture segment.

Heinz said, “As part of our investment plans of more than Euro 10 billion in Asia Pacific between 2013 and 2020, we want to strengthen our production platform in India. With our new Dahej site we are enhancing our position as supplier with local production and can even better ‘create chemistry’ with our customers. With our advanced technologies and the commitment of our team in India, we will both contribute to and benefit from India’s huge market potential.”

The site currently employs 200 people directly and 300 people indirectly. In the near future, the site will offer direct employment opportunity to 50 additional people.

http://www.business-standard.com/content/b2b-chemicals/basf-inaugurates-rs-1000-cr-chemical-complex-in-dahej-114100700490_1.html?src=email


Minamata Convention on Mercury to remain open for signature till 9 October 2014

Written By Gopal Krishna on Thursday, September 25, 2014 | 3:03 AM

As per Article 1 of UN's Minamata Convention on Mercury which is aimed at protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury is open for signature till 9 October 2014. 

{{{image_alt}}}It was agreed at the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Geneva, Switzerland on 19 January 2013.

The major highlights of the Minamata Convention on Mercury include:

  • a ban on new mercury mines, 
  • the phase-out of existing ones, 
  • control measures on air emissions, 
  • and the international regulation of the informal sector for artisanal and small-scale GOLD mining.

The Convention draws attention to a global and ubiquitous heavy metal that, while naturally occurring, has broad uses in everyday objects and is released to the atmosphere, soil and water from a variety of sources. 

The control of the anthropogenic releases of mercury throughout its lifecycle is a key factor that led to the framing of the convention.

Mercury and mercury compounds are toxic to humans and other organisms. Large-scale public health crises  has been witnessed due to mercury poisoning, such as Minamata disease and Niigata Minamata disease. 

The Convention will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by 50 nations.

The Parties agreed in Article 8 to control and “where feasible” reduce emissions of mercury and mercury compounds, (i.e. “total mercury”) to the atmosphere through measures to control emissions from point source categories such as coal-fired power stations and non-ferrous metal smelters (e.g. aluminium smelters).

In search of a fine balance:Namrata Acharya

Written By Krishna on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | 11:56 PM

Logo


In search of a fine balance

As the Centre overhauls labour laws, it's vital to ensure businesses and workers do not take each other for granted
In the glass bangle factories of Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, there are no lunch breaks; furnaces keep burning. The factories are filthy, the condition of workers miserable, and accidents are common. These findings, among others, are mentioned in Welfare of Glass and Bangle Workers of Firozabad, a report by a Parliamentary standing committee on labour, presented to the Lok Sabha on August 30, 2012.

Instances of violent agitations at automobile plants, lockouts at pharmaceutical units and a case of a jute mill chief executive beaten to death in West Bengal are some other pieces of news related to labour unrest in the recent past.

The fractured worker-management relationship can be assessed from a 2011 report on industrial disputes, closures, retrenchments and lay-offs, released by the government in March 2014. The report said in 2011, India recorded 370 industrial disputes (strikes and lockouts), leading to loss of wages amounting to Rs 48 crore and production loss worth Rs 422 crore.

As the National Democratic Alliance government plans to overhaul age-old labour laws, the need of the hour is a balancing act between labour rights and corporate welfare.

Legislation
Recently, the Union Cabinet approved proposals to amend three labour laws - the Factories Act, 1948; the Apprentices Act, 1961; and the Labour Laws (exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining registers by certain establishments) Act, 1988. Allowing women to work in night shifts, increased penalties for violation of law, relaxation of norms for apprenticeships and easing the procedure for filing returns in small industries are some of the other proposed changes.

However, in a maze of about 100 existing labour laws, the proposed amendments are of little significance.

Currently, the two most contentious Acts related to labour are the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970. The disputes Act stipulates if the number of workers in a unit is at least 100, the government's prior approval is necessary for retrenchment. During an economic slowdown, employing workers on regular payroll turns out to be a major financial constraint. Also, securing the government's permission for retrenchment is difficult.

In 2011, 89 industrial units were shut, against 42 in 2010. And, financial stringency accounted for the highest number of closures at 40 per cent. Indiscipline accounted for most of the 370 industrial disputes in 2011 (30 per cent). "The present labour laws are more anti-labour than reform-oriented. Today, employers cannot take any disciplinary action against workers. As a result of the provisions of the Act, of the labour force of 490 million in India, only 29 million (including 18 million in the government sector), are regular employees. For protecting the rights of just six per cent of the workforce, the law is doing bigger harm," says N G Khaitan, partner in law firm Khaitan and Co.

The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, has led to many disputes related to discrepancy over wages between contract and regular labourers. In 2011, wages and allowances accounted for 24.9 per cent of industrial disputes and involved the highest number of workers. In 2008, a consultative committee of the labour ministry said low wages, long hours, and lack of amenities were some issues the Act didn't address.

According to a survey by the Indian Staffing Federation, about half the contract workers in reputed firms received an average salary of Rs 5,000-10,000 a month, lower than the average salary of regular workers. Moreover, the contract workers weren't covered under any social security scheme.

State amendments
As most labour laws are in the Concurrent List, states are free to amend these.

In a landmark move, the Rajasthan government recently amended four key labour laws-the Industrial Disputes Act, the Factories Act, the Contract Labour Act and the Apprentices Act.

One of the key amendments in the Industrial Act was stating only units with at least 300 workers would need government approval for retrenchment. The state also increased the percentage of workers needed for registration as a representative union from 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

It is expected the Central government will emulate its Rajasthan counterpart on changes in labour laws.

"About 60 per cent of factories in India employ 1-30 workers. So, with the amended law in Rajasthan, a large number of workers can be employed as regular workers," says Khaitan.

States such as West Bengal are, however, sticking to old laws. For instance, even when the Centre amended the Industrial Disputes Act to ensure only units with at least 100 workers needed government approval for retrenchment, the West Bengal government retained the number at 50.


In 2011, the state accounted for the highest number of industrial disputes-153 out of 370. Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat followed.

Industrialised states have taken various steps to introduce changes in contentious labour laws, but these have been sector-specific.

For example, in 2004, the Gujarat government amended the Industrial Disputes Act, exempting special economic zones from government permission to lay off employees. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh and Goa have amended the Contract Labour Act, prohibiting contract labour in core activities.

Opposing views
The proposal to overhaul labour laws has seen its share criticism. Unsurprisingly, the biggest opposition comes from labour unions. But what surprises many is the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, or BMS, (the trade union arm of the Bharatiya Janata Party), too, is livid with the reforms. "We strongly oppose the Rajasthan government's proposal to amend labour laws," says BMS president Baij Nath Rai.

Gopal Krishna, an activist of the Toxic Watch Alliance, says the proposed amendments in the Factories Act do away with the first schedule, which lists of hazardous substances used in various processes. While the Bill says the intention is to widen the scope of hazardous substances, there is ambiguity on this matter.

"Factories employing up to 19 workers will not have legally binding responsibility for the safety of their workers inside the factory. The amendment also undermines the legal protection on work hours, a weekly off and other rights to decent working conditions," says Krishna.

An equitable overhaul in labour laws, it seems, is easier said than done.

A SNAPSHOT OF INDIA'S MYRIAD LABOUR LAWS
There are 44 central laws governing labour relation, enforced by the Centre, states or both. In addition, there are another 100 state-specific labour laws enacted and enforced by states

If wishes were horses: Some key industry demands
  • Shift labour to the State List, from Concurrent List of the Constitution
  • Have a uniform definition of terms such as 'industry' and 'worker' across statutes
  • For better interpretation and understanding, industry should be termed 'enterprise' and workman should be termed 'employee'
  • Have a single labour authority to deal with all aspects of labour, self-certification, and a single consolidated return
  • Reduce dispute settlement mechanisms between labour and employers from four levels to one or two
  • Consolidate laws under four broad heads - terms and conditions of employment, wages, welfare, and social security
  • Exempt small enterprises from Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946
  • Supervisors, managers and people holding administrative positions, irrespective of the salary limits, should be taken out of the purview of the definition of 'workman'
  • No notice by employer before stipulating any change in the service conditions
  • A 14-day notice of strike should be compulsory
  • Recognise go-slow and work-to-rule as 'strike'
  • Mandatory payments to contract workers through cheque/bank accounts
  • Make Factories Act applicable to manufacturing units employing 20 workers, if working with the aid of power, or 40 workers if working without power
  • Exempt establishments employing less than 10 people from the Shops and Establishments Act
  • Only trade unions having membership of at least 25% of the total work force should be registered

How some states make life easy for businesses

Tamil Nadu
  • Combined annual return for Factories Act, Contract Labour and Regulation Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Payment of Wages Act and Minimum Wages Act
  • Self-certification under Shops and Establishments Act, Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Wages Act, and Maternity Benefit Act for IT establishments
  • Software establishments exempted from the provisions of opening and closing hours and holidays under the Shops and Establishment's Act

Karnataka
  • Combined annual return for Factories Act, Contract Labour and Regulation Act Maternity Benefit Act, Payment of Wages Act, Minimum Wages Act, and Payment of Bonus Act
  • Exemption of establishments in the software industry from the Standing Orders Act

Andhra Pradesh
  • Self-certification under Factories Act, except hazardous industries
  • Definition of core activity under Contract Labour Act, payment of salaries to contract workers through bank accounts or cheques
  • Exemption from provisions related to daily and weekly hours, opening and closing hours, engagement of women, holiday wages for software establishments

Maharashtra
  • Self-certification under Factories Act, and Shops and Establishment's Act

Gujarat
  • Combined annual returns under Factories Act, Contract Labour Act, Payment of Wages Act, Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Bonus Act, Payment of Gratuity Act, Equal Remuneration Act, and Industrial Employment Standing Orders Act

Uttarakhand
  • All contractors to submit registers on a fixed day before the authorities for inspection, avoiding inspection of principal employer's establishment

Rajasthan
  • Self-certification under Contract Labour Act, Payment of Wages Act, Factories Act, Minimum Wages Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Payment of Bonus Act, Payment of Gratuity Act, Equal Remuneration Act, and Industrial Employment Standing Orders Act. One return filed for all these Acts
http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/in-search-of-a-fine-balance-114082400801_1.html

Advertisement of of Inland Waterways Authority of India for Ganga Waterway project

Written By Gopal Krishna on Monday, September 22, 2014 | 1:33 AM


































The advertisement of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) reveals that Ministry of Shipping, Government of India has applied for World Bank funding to make payments for consultancy for preparing Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Environment Management Plan (EMP), Resettlement Action Plan for Capacity Augmentation of Navigational Infrastructure of National Waterway -1 between Haldia to Allahabad (Jal Marg Vikas).

This Ad reveals that government has not abandoned the Ganga Waterway project as was reported by Dainik Bhaskar citing Narendra Modi. (Modi was quoted as saying, " Mujhe Ganga se kuch nahi lena hai, Mujhe Ganga ko dena hai" (I don't need to take anything from Ganga, I have to give to Ganga).    

Reacting to the proposal of Ganga Waterway,  Ramaswamy R. Iyer, former Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources said, "I feel that we should say that navigation should not be given over-riding priority on the Ganga to the detriment of all the other functions that the Ganga performs. If the proposed barrages are built, the Ganga will become solely a navigational channel and will cease to be a river. This ought to be unacceptable to the Ministry of Water Resources if they have any concern for the national and holy river, responsibility for which has just been transferred to them from Ministry of Environment and Forests with a new mandate for 'rejuvenation'." 

The proposal is not a rejuvenation plan for the river, it is a plan for the exploitation of the river.  Its main  purpose is river bed mining from Haldia to Allahabad to extract minor minerals like sand, gravel etc to meet the unsatiable demand of the construction industry. Prof. G D Agrawal who went on a fast unto death to save the river is the opinion that the project is misleading people in the Ganga basin about its main purpose-which dredging of the river course to extract sand and other minor minerals. This project endangers the existence of the river and its basin. Ganga Bachao Samiti (GBS) has initiated efforts to raise public awareness about the far reaching consequences of this project of Ministry of Shipping.   

Letter to Shri Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forests & Climate Change on objectionable Hazardous Waste TSDF facility in Bohjpur, Bihar

Written By Gopal Krishna on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:05 AM

To

Shri Prakash Javadekar
Union Minister
Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change
Government of India
New Delhi
Date: September 16, 2014

Subject- Objectionable approval to rejected Integrated Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, Disposal and Recycling Facility by M/s Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd at Koilwar-Babura Road Bhojpur, Bihar

Sir,
With reference to my letter to Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), Infrastructure and Miscellaneous Projects and CRZ dated September 7, 2014 regarding an advertisement by Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) in The Times of India Patna edition dated September 6, 2014 for the proposed public hearing on the Environment Impact Assessment of the proposal for Integrated Common Hazardous Waste treatment, storage, disposal and recycling facility by M/s Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd at Koilwar-Babura Road Bhojpur, Bihar, I wish to draw your attention towards the manifest inconsistency of EAC.
I wish to submit that the approval for TOR for EIA and public hearing for the project in question is contrary to EAC’s own recommendations besides all existing environmental norms in the rule book including Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Trans-boundary movement)) Rules, 2008 and Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. The proposed facility is in an ecologically sensitive zone. The hazardous waste-cum-biomedical waste facility admittedly gives birth to risks of all cancers and specifically of stomach, colorectal, liver and lung cancer that increases with closer proximity to incinerators. The notice for public hearing is attached.
I submit that the attached Minutes of the 118th Meeting of the EAC held on 8th-9th November, 2012 reveals that the EAC concluded that M/s Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd the project “Proponent has not justified selection of the site and also there is a habitation at about 200 m from the site which is not advisable for this type of Hazardous waste handling and incineration activity.”
I submit that the proposed Integrated Common Hazardous Waste treatment, storage, disposal and recycling facility is being sited exactly adjacent to Sone river in the vicinity of residential areas of the village in the proximity of Koilwar-Babura Road, Bhojpur in area of 57.24 acres of agricultural land.
I submit that the manner in which EAC at its 125th Meeting held on 10th -12th June, 2013 has gone against its own wisdom to assign Terms of Reference of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for public hearing is quite enigmatic. It is evident from the recommendations for Sampling Locations specified for hazardous waste treatment, storage, disposal facility (TSDF) that the ground water samples should be collected at least up to a distance of 5 KM from the TSDF location. This in effect is an admission that at least 5 KM zone of the proposed facility is an ecologically sensitive and vulnerable zone.  According to US Environment Protection Agency (USEPA), toxic emissions like Dioxins travel long distances in the atmosphere and is found on plants, in water, soil, grazing animals and humans.
I submit that the grounds on which EAC reached its inference at its 118th Meeting remains quite valid and scientific based on deep understanding of far reaching implications of incinerator facilities. It is quite manifest that the project proponent has misled the EAC regarding facts about the location of the proposed hazardous waste facility to ensure that EAC reverses its considered verdict about the inappropriateness of the site in question. The Terms of Reference no. (viii) provided to the project proponent states “Examine the details
of monitoring of Dioxin and Furan”. This reveals that the proposed facility will emit dioxins and other harmful pollutants. Dioxin is the common name for 75 toxic chemicals that are unwanted by-products of manufacturing and combustion processes when chlorine and carbon-containing materials are combined. It must be noted Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) does not have the required infrastructure to deal with such toxic chemical emissions which has been so lethal that it was used as a chemical weapon by USA against Vietnam under the Brand name Agent Orange whose after effects continues to trouble both the war veterans of USA and Vietnam.
I submit that Garbage and medical incinerators have been identified as the largest sources of dioxins in the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)’s reassessment reports on dioxin in 1994/2004. Dioxin
particles are stored in fatty tissue and will accumulate to create “buildup” when low-level exposure is continual. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that dioxin is a human carcinogen. Non-Hodgkin_ s lymphoma and cancers of the liver, lung, stomach, soft and connective tissue have been associated with dioxin.
Even at very low exposure, at levels of parts per trillion, dioxin causes immune system damage, hormone disruption, and reproductive and development effects. Some newer emission control devices have been
effective in decreasing recorded dioxin air emissions from incinerators, but there is no safe level additional exposure to dioxins. This is because the average daily dioxin intake for is already 200 times higher than what the US EPA defines as a safe dose for adults. Those most at risk of receiving the highest concentrations
are babies. Studies also show elevated levels of dioxin in the blood of people living near municipal solid waste incinerators when compared to the general population. Residents in Indian cities are rightly alarmed at the prospect of these incinerator plants coming up in their city.
I submit that in February 2014 the 27th report of the Parliamentary Committee on Urban Development has recommended that incinerator plants should be stopped in all residential areas across the country in its
report to the Parliament. Incinerators cause serious environmental and health problems to the people living not only near them but even to those who live several kilometers away from the source like the proposed facility.
I submit that the advertisement of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) reveals that the proposed hazardous waste facility will also incinerate bio-medical waste which is governed under Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 which provides that “Bio-medical waste shall be treated and disposed of in accordance with Schedule I, and in compliance with the standards prescribed in Schedule V.” Schedule I provides Categories of Bio-Medical Waste. Schedule V provides Standards for Treatment and Disposal of Bio-Medical Wastes. It is noteworthy that the Schedule –II of the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 lays down the compliance criteria stating “Bio-medical wastes and industrial wastes shall not be mixed with municipal solid wastes and such wastes shall follow the rules separately specified for the purpose.” The proposal is in contravention of this criteria.
I submit that the 15 July, 2013 judgment of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court is quite germane in this regard. The Hon’ble High Court judgment refers to ‘The summary of “Epidemiological Studies on Adverse
Health Effects Associated with Incineration” would show that medical waste incinerators are a leading source of dioxins and mercury in the environment and there is link between incinerator emissions and adverse health impacts on incinerator workers and residents living around the incinerators.’ (Source:http://www.delhicourts.nic.in/Jan13/P.K.%20Nayyar%20vs.%20UOI.pdf)
Hon’ble Court’s judgment reads: “Both older and more modern incinerators can contribute to the contamination of local soil and vegetation with dioxins and heavy metals. In several European countries, cow‟s milk from farms located in the vicinity of incinerators has been found to contain elevated levels of dioxin, in some cases above regulatory limits. Increased levels of dioxins have been found in the tissues of residents near to incinerators in the UK, Spain and Japan. At an incinerator in Finland, mercury was increased in hair of residents living in the vicinity. Children living near a modern incinerator in Spain were found to have elevated levels of urinary thioethers, a biomarker of toxic exposure. “ It notes that
“After 2 years of operation of incinerator, dioxins levels were found increased by about 25% in both groups living between 0.5 to 1.5 and 3.5 to 4.0 km away (201 people) of people. In the repeat analysis, the increase was in the range of 10-15%”.
The judgment records that “Mothers living close to incinerators and crematoria from 1956 to 1993” showed “increased risk of lethal congenital abnormalities, in particular, spinal bifida and heart defects, near incinerators: increased risk of stillbirths and anacephalus near crematoria”.
I submit that with regard to “Residents from 7 to 64 years old living within 5 km of an incinerator and the incinerator workers” the judgment observes, “Levels of mercury in hair increased with closer proximity to the incinerator during a 10 year period”.
I submit that the judgment of the Hon’ble High Court found that “Residents living within 10 km of an incinerator, refinery, and waste disposal site” showed “Significant increase in laryngeal cancer in men
living with closer proximity to the incinerator and other pollution sources”. It observed that the “Residents living around an incinerator and other pollution sources” showed “Significant increase in lung cancer related specifically to theincinerator”. The “People living within 7.5 km of 72 incinerators” displayed “Risks of all cancers and specifically of stomach, colorectal, liver and lung cancer increased with closer proximity to incinerators”.
In view of the above mentioned facts, the public hearing for the project is scheduled for 16.10.2014 at 11 AM at Ambika Sharan Singh High School, Jamalpur, Post- Naya Mohammadpur, District- Bhojpur must
be cancelled failing which there will be bitter massive resistance from the villagers due to imminent public health crisis.
In view of these facts, I seek your urgent intervention to address the issue of environmental and public health rights of the present and future generations of residents of villages on the Babura-Koilwar road in Bhojpur, Bihar.
I will be happy to meet you to brief you and share relevant documents in this regard.

Thanking You
Yours faithfully
(Gopal Krishna)
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Mb: 09818089660, 08227816731

Cc
Shri Jitan Ram Manjhi, Chief Minister, Government of Bihar, Patna
Shri Raj Kumar Singh, Member of Parliament, Arrah 
Shri Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change
Shri Anjani Kumar Singh, Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar
 
 
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