01 November, 2020

Hazard Stations

Toxic waste is sitting idle at our ports

Hazard Stations

Are our ports becoming stockpiles of hazardous products? An inventory of such material, drawn up by the Union ministry of shipping last month, may lead one to believe so. Consider some of the products lying unattended at the country’s ports and posing a risk, as detailed in the ministry’s list. At Kandla port, seven containers full of empty shells, cartridges and war material have been lying since 2005. The port authorities have so far been unable to convince police or army experts to assist them in disposing of this deadly consignment of scrap.

In another alarming case, 92.4 metric tonnes of methyl monomer, a toxic compound used for making plastics, has been lying at the New Mangalore port since June this year simply because the importer—the chemical company BASF—has inadequate storage space in its factory premises. The worst part is that, in many cases, bureaucratic inefficiency and errant importers are to blame for such careless accumulation, sometimes over several years. For example, as many as 83 drums of...



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