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Is US dumping municipal waste in Kerala?
October 19, 2007 19:00 IST
The shipment of municipal and hospital waste from the United States in three containers which had waste paper for recycling in Kerala [Images] has raised a stink with India warning it cannot be a "dumping ground" and that the shocking incident will be taken up at the highest level.
Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss condemned the incident asserting India cannot be made a "dumping ground".
"I am confirming the report of the shipment of the wastes with the (Kerala) health department. If it is true it will be taken up at the highest level," Ramadoss said.
Three containers with about 65 tonnes of wastes were found by Kerala Pollution Control Board officials to contain prohibited municipal wastes from New York including plastic and biodegradable substances as well as hospital wastes, sanitary pads and surgical gloves. A shocked Board has recommended to the Customs authorities that the shipments be sent back to the place of origin.
The Kerala State Health department is also looking into the matter. The shipment has once again raised fears of developing countries like India being used as a dumping ground for wastes from industrialised countries. Last year 12 containers of plastic waste, shipped from the US, had been sent back.
The latest incident came during a random check early this month amid reports that such shipments were taking place frequently with Kochi being the destination. The check showed that the items contained substances other than waste paper which was being dispatched to a local company for recycling.