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Burning hazardous waste at the BEIL - Drum flying out

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Uploaded on Apr 8, 2008

Exclusive:
Down To Earth correspondent and citizen-village journalist file picture of the devastating file of burning hazardous waste at the Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Limited (BEIL). Over 150 tonnes of extremely hazardous waste went up in smoke, which carried toxins to the villages around and is bound to pollute the land and water bodies for a long time to come. The pesticide manufacturer, United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) holds major equity in the this hazardous waste disposal site, which is bidding to get the toxic waste of the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal for disposal. Nobody has been able to explain how this fire occurred; why massive quantities -- reportedly over 9000 tonnes of hazardous waste -- were stored in a facility which has a capacity of only 50 tonnes each day; or why adequate precautions were not taken for a Bhopal-type situation not to happen. It is only fortunate, say local villagers that the wind direction changed and the majority of toxins were carried to lands not inhabited by people. Otherwise, another Bhopal or worse was inevitable. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board now has the task of managing this clean up and to take the errant company to task.

Watch this space for an update. Read Down To Earth (http://downtoearth.org.in/) for our reportage on the hazardous waste dump fire.

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