State govt responsible for cleaning up chromium pollution: CPCB
The Central agency has said that the cost of the clean up must be borne by the State, which may recover a portion of the expenses from the polluters
RANIPET: An action plan has been drafted to clean-up the chromium sludge around the Tamil Nadu Chromates and Chemicals Limited (TCCL) in Ranipet SIPCOT, and decontaminate the groundwater in the area. Yet, the plan is far from being implemented. With the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) saying that the responsibility to clean up the premises lies with the State authorities, the latter has assured to carry our remedial activities using Central funds.
However, the Central agency has said that the cost of the clean up must be borne by the State, which may recover a portion of the expenses from the polluters. The CPCB made the submission recently before the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal. "Direct the Tamil Nadu government to take up remedial measures in the contaminated area. It may be executed as per the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by the CPCB," it said in the Tribunal. "The CPCB may provide technical assistance and also verify the works as and when required"
The matter was taken up by the Tribunal on a suo motu basis, considering the extent of chromium pollution in Ranipet, a major industrial hub. Activists and farmer leaders in the district have long been clamouring for safe handling of the dangerous sludge to save the land and water. As per the DPR, the clean up would cost around Rs 206 crore. That apart, cleaning up the groundwater would incur an annual cost of Rs 10-15 crore over the next 15 years. The excavation, treatment, and disposal of contaminated soil would cost about Rs 194 crore.
The Tribunal took up the matter after Express published a series of reports on chromium pollution in the area.