Goa State Pollution Control Board
Dempo towers , 1St Floor
EDC Patto Plaza
Panaji, Goa 403001
Re: COMPLAINT -ZUARI INDUSTRIES LTD
On 31.03.08 sludge leaking from a tanker had spilled over a one kilometer stretch of road from Goa Shipyard to Chicalim Junction. According to a report in the Navhind Times the truck bearing registration no GA-02-V-6062 heading towards Zuarinagar from Khariwada jetty developed a hole in the tarpaulin while carrying sludge in its carrier in the wee hours of 31.03.08.Incidents of fall of two wheelers due to the slippery road were reported. On 3.4.08 the Herald reported that the Sludge was identified as Phosphoric Acid
On the basis of complaints filed by citizens the Vasco police Station have registered an offence vide Cr No. 86/2008 u/s 336 IPC on 31.03.08 against the Driver. As per the complaint the incident occurred at 5 am and the matter was reported to the Police Station at 11.45 hrs on 31.03.08. The Driver of the Vehicle did not report the matter to the Vasco Police Station.
According to the Police the owner of the truck did not have permission /licenses, to carry the hazardous materials, as required under the Motor vehicles Act, Petroleum Act and the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) rules 1989. (HW)
Police investigations revealed that the truck was a tipper truck generally used for transportation of coal, potash and other materials. Not a single requirement regarding packaging, labeling and transportation of hazardous waste.(Rule 7), was complied with.
The Police say that the truck bearing registration no. GA-02-V-6062 was engaged by contractor M/s Verma Handling Agencies, Office No 12, 2nd Floor, Karma peas Centre, near City bus stand, Vasco to carry the Sludge from Kharewado Vasco to ZIL, Zuarinagar. The Sludge belonged to Zuari Industries Ltd. The Staff on duty, at the time of loading, of Zuari industries Ltd, is identified as Mr.F.X.D’Costa , Asst manager, Shifts (RMH) and of the contractor, Mr. Chandrabhan.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests have notified the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989 as amended in 2000 and 2003 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. These rules regulate the collection, storage, transportation, treatment, disposal, import and export of hazardous wastes listed in the Schedules annexed to these rules. As per the provisions under these rules, the industries are required to treat and dispose the hazardous waste in an environmentally sound manner.
Occupiers generating hazardous wastes given in the list shall take all practical steps to ensure that such wastes are properly handled, i.e. collection, reception, treatment, storage, and disposed of without any adverse effects to human health and environment (Rule 4). Such occupier shall apply for authorization in prescribed format to the State Pollution Control Board or Committees of UTs (Rule 5). After appropriate and satisfactory verification of facilities the authorization may be granted for a period of 2 years that would be subjected to the conditions and shall be renewed before expiry. State Pollution Control Boards have power to cancel the authorization or suspend if it is found that the occupier is not following the Provisions of Rules. State government shall maintain the inventory of disposal sites and shall publish from time to time. The occupier shall maintain records of all operations and report to the State Boards.
It is the responsibility of the occupier or operator of a facility to ensure that the hazardous wastes are packaged, based on the composition in a manner suitable for handling, storage and transport. The labeling and packaging should be such that the same is easily visible and able to withstand physical conditions and climate factors so that the identity of the waste is not lost and suitable measures are taken in case of spill etc. Provision of the rules under the Motor Vehicles Act are required to be complied with regarding packaging, labeling and transportation of hazardous waste.(Rule 7)
In case of occurrence of an accident, complete details in Form-5 must be sent to the State Pollution Control Board. along with details of imitative and remedial measures taken. Such events shall simultaneously be reported to concerned Police Station, Health Department, and Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers. The unit shall ensure that all the personnel involved in the generation and management of hazardous wastes are able to respond effectively to emergencies and all required safety measures will be taken.
Non-compliance of any of the conditions stipulated above will invite penal action as per the law and authorization shall be liable for cancellation without further notice.
The Police investigations reveal that Zuari failed to comply with hazardous waste management regulations requiring facilities to properly manage and dispose of hazardous wastes.
I request you to investigate the matter and initiate penal action against the occupier, as per the law in case of non compliance of the conditions of authorization.