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NGT orders CSIR’s constituent laboratory CEERI to follow CPCB norms in Management and Disposal of Hazardous Waste

CSIR (Council of scientific and industrial research), the largest public-funded R&D organization in the country, has been found not following government regulations and guidelines for more than a decade in the management of hazardous chemicals and hazardous waste disposal.
However, as the saying goes ‘diya tale andhera’, the national R&D organization, CSIR’s exclusive laboratory of electronics research in Pilani , Rajasthan known by the name CEERI, Pilani is found blatantly ignoring these environmental protection standards for more than a decade.

CEERI Pilani, the electronics R&D laboratory uses a vast variety of hazardous chemicals in its semiconductor research facilities but it seems that the authorities never bothered to properly manage the hazardous chemicals and its waste disposal (chemicals and PPE) after the use. As a result, the staff sitting in the office and their families living in the campus, as well as the surrounding community, are living under a very high level of threat of various long term diseases from these low levels of exposure to hazardous chemicals. The diseases are of the following types: various allergies, carcinogenic diseases, birth disorders, and neuro disorders; a complete list of possible health hazards from such hazardous chemical exposures is very long.

Once this was reported in NGT in the month of January 2021, an order from the tribunal was received in March 2021, and it has given strict directions to the institute to take necessary remedial and corrective steps in this regard as per the CPCB rules.

Surprisingly, the waste material in the form of bottles, empty and partially filled with hazardous chemicals and the used hand gloves, masks, aprons and other items have never been sent outside the campus boundary for proper disposal by the authorized hazardous waste disposal facilities operators. There are a number of licences hazardous waste disposal companies operating in every state on the site locations provided by the state government.

The order of NGT also gave a message to CSIR and DST for possible hazardous chemicals waste management irregularities existing in other laboratories and govt of India organizations.

A joint committee has been formed, one member each from CPCB, state PCB and CEERI Pilani to look into the complete situation and file a report to the NGT.

In the present situation the hazardous waste disposal is yet to take place in CEERI Pilani.

NGT Case Reference: Bhopla bench
Case Original Application No. 01/2021
Registered date 05/01/2021
Decision order Date 23/03/2021

 

About Mahender Bansal

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