Note:Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI)has been campaigning for listing of chrysotile asbestos in the UN hazardous chemicals list. It had written to UPA Chairperson, Prime Minister and the Chemicals & Fertilizers Minister prior to the the UN Meeting. BANI has thanked them for change in Government of India's position after 7 years and urged them take the next logical step to phase out asbestos for good, decontaminate asbestos laden buildings and ensure relief for the victims of asbestos.
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Asbestos toxic, says India
IN WHAT could prove to be a breakthrough in containing environmental impacts of white asbestos globally, India has agreed to label the mineral hazardous under the UN’s Rotterdam Convention. This is a historic shift in stance, as India has always claimed there was not sufficient data on the health risks of chrysotile asbestos. Listing of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention or the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list will mandate the exporting countries to share information on the hazards of the mineral with the importing countries. India announced its position on June 22, the third day of the 5th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention in Geneva, at a meeting of contact groups set up to discuss listing of chrysotile asbestos in the absence of a consensus. It received a standing ovation at the plenary meeting for changing its stand.
Source: Down to Earth
Dyeing units: women observe a fast
Members of the Save Tirupur Women's Forum observed a fast here on Wednesday in order to draw attention of the State Government to the crisis prevailing in Tirupur knitwear cluster owing to the closure of dyeing units by the order of Madhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifras High Court.The agitators sought the intervention of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, for evolving a comprehensive solution which could help the industry to overcome the problems encountered in the discharge of effluents generated from the dyeing units. Rajathi Santanakrishnan, president of the forum, said the members wanted the Chief Minister to have a direct interface with workers and family members of those running dyeing units.
The Hindu, New Delhi, July 22, 2011
Chemical firm to pay Rs 200 crore for defying SC orders
The Supreme Court has come down heavily on a chemical company for defying its orders for the past 15 years to pay Rs 37 crore compensation for polluting water in Rajasthan and enhanced the amount to Rs 200 crore as punishment.
"This is a very unusual and extraordinary litigation where even after 15 years of the final judgement (date of judgement - February 13, 1996) the litigation has been deliberately kept alive by filing one interlocutory application or the other in order to avoid compliance of the judgement," a bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and H L Dattu observed and directed Hindustan Agro Chemicals Pvt Ltd to pay the compensation of Rs 37 crore with 12 per cent compound interest amounting to approximately Rs 202 crore.
"The said judgement of this Court has not been permitted to acquire finality till date. This is a classic example how by abuse of the process of law even the final judgement of the apex court can be circumvented for more than a decade and a half," the Supreme Court said.
This is indeed a "very serious" matter concerning the sanctity and credibility of the judicial system in general and of the apex court in particular, the court observed.
The judges regretted that though the apex court had directed closure of the Hindustan Agro Chemicals and attachment of its assets as early as on November 4, 1997, for causing large scale pollution several villages of Rajasthan, the company had successfully dodged compliance due to its money power.
The bench imposed a further cost of Rs 10 lakh on the company for prolonging the litigation.
Taking a stern view of sustained efforts made by the company to circumvent the order, the bench said people who perpetuate "illegal acts" by obtaining stays and injunctions must be made to pay the sufferer.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, July 25, 2011
Biomedical waste: 4 Ambala hospitals issued notices
District administration on 25,July 2011slapped notices on four private hospitals after they were found to be ignoring rules for disposal of Biomedical waste. Officials had also conducted raids there last week. The facilities warned of action in accordance with Environment Act. include Ashirwad Hospital, Ashirwad Nursing Home, Saket Hospital and Narayan Hospital functioning from Ambala city and cantt areas. At the same time, the administration also directed private medical practitioners and diagnostic centres to ensure proper disposal of biomedical waste.
PPCB closure notices to 20 dyeing units in Ludhiana
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) today issued closure notices to as many as 20 dyeing units of Ludhiana, located on the Bahadur-Ke Road, for failing to initiate the process to install a common effluent treatment plant. According to the PPCB notice, all the erring dyeing units should explain their position individually within 15 days as to why the Board should not direct the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities to disconnect their power connections without any further notice.
Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, July 23, 2011
Gorbachev’s message to Okinawa: Okinawa for the people, not for the military - A message for Okinawa from Mikhail Gorbachev Knowing now about the presence of nuclear weapons in Okinawa during the Cold War era, as revealed in a recen...