CPCB fails to file report on groundwater contamination by Dow’s Bhopal plant in Supreme Court
Report on groundwater contamination will be filed, assures Vijay Panjwani, CPCB lawyer
New Delhi July 15, 2012: In a letter to ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Vijay Panjwani, Supreme Court lawyer for Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has assured that “CPCB would file report as soon it is ready. There is no reason for CPCB to hold back or delay filing of report on contaminated ground water in Arif Nagar,etc near UCC/UCIL/DOWCHEMICAL plant in Bhopal.”
The report of ground water contamination by the plant of Dow Chemical Company’s Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) has not yet been filed although the deadline for filing it on June 4, 2012 is long over.
In a letter to Mira Mehrishi, Chairperson, CPCB, Additional Secretary Union Ministry of Environment & Forests, TWA had reminded CPCB about the need for filing the report on removal of contamination of ground water in UCC’s Bhopal plant area in compliance with Supreme Court Order dated April 19, 2012 and March 28, 2012. A copy of the letter was also sent to Panjwani as well. The letter dated July 14, 2012 is attached.
Panjwani added, “Even otherwise supreme court has not stopped you to go ahead and collect samples immediately for presence of toxic heavy metals.” TWA feels that after the rains the test results of the samples will not be credible due to dilution by rains.
The order dated April 19, 2012 by the Supreme Court bench of Hon’ble Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice J. Chelameswar wherein it directed, “the Central Pollution Control Board is given time to file its composite report by 4th June, 2012.”
This was with reference to court’s directions dated March 28, 2012 in I.A. No.43 of 2007 in Writ Petition (Civil)No. 657 of 1995. The order reads: “The Central Pollution Control Board, which has been added as party to these proceedings, and represented in Court today, shall also file a report with regard to the removal of contamination of the ground water in the area where Union Carbide factory/plant is situated.” Both the orders are enclosed.
Although the deadline has been over by more than a month, the report with regard to the removal of contamination of the ground water in the area where UCC’s factory/plant is situated has not been filed.
TWA had pointed out that only those samples of the ground water in the area where Union Carbide factory/plant can be considered relevant and valid which have been taken prior to the rains before July 5, 2012.
The report in question is of huge significance and involves public interest. This will reveal the status of the adverse impact of industrial disaster in UCC’s Bhopal chemical pesticide plant. All the environmental and human rights groups concerned with the issue are anxiously waiting for the report.
So far all the public institutions have failed to come to the rescue of the victims of the environmental and public health disaster.
TWA has urged CPCB to resist all undue influences which may be working to ensure that this report on contamination of ground water is not filed in time. The filing of this report is urgently required else the court may issue contempt notice for non-compliance with its order.
TWA has requested CPCB to submit its report latest by July 31, 2012. In case of CPCB's failure legal action will be pursued to ensure that Supreme Court’s orders are complied with.
For Details: Mira Mehrishi, Chairperson, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Vijay Panjwani, Supreme Court lawyer for Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), E-mail:email@example.com
Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 9818089660, Efirstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 26517814, Fax: 26517814, Web: toxicswatch.blogspot.com