With the amount of waste generated by the industries of Assam and causing serious damage to the environment, the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) has been prompted to quicken a decade-old proposal of setting up a common treatment, storage and disposal facility (CTSDF) for such wastes in the state.
In 2009, Assam had 55 hazardous waste generating units and now, almost a decade later, 71 such units have been found in the state.
These waste generating units are generating 5,217.107 metric tonnes per annum (MTA) of landfillable wastes, 326.10 MTA of incinerable wastes and 22,990.533 MTA of recyclable wastes, reports The Assam Tribune.
In 2003, the Supreme Court had made mandatory for all the states generating more than 2,000 MTA of hazardous wastes to have a CTSDF.
However, not a single CSTDF have come in the state till now even after 15 years of the Supreme Court instruction.
In July this year, the National Green Tribunal had also directed that all the States must set up a CTSDF within three months.
In 2010, the State Government had allotted a plot of land measuring 100 bighas at Geleki in Sivasagar for the construction of a CTSDF for hazardous wastes.
The land was elected since it was near the oil and natural gas units but still nothing has materialized till date even after Expression of Interests (EoIs) have been invited twice.
To speed up the process of setting the much needed CSTDF, the PCBA had recently constituted a fresh committee and have decided to rope in a private consultancy firm.
The committee has also sought a status report from the Sivasagar deputy commissioner regarding the condition of the land allotted eight years back.
“A fresh EoI will be floated. It will be a national bid. We hope to complete the process within December 31,” said a PCBA official.
The CSTDF will be set up by the private firm and the government will only help in its facilitation.