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Uttar Pradesh clears 46,000 tonnes of chromium waste

Uttar Pradesh clears 46,000 tonnes of chromium waste

The Uttar Pradesh Waste Management Project has achieved significant milestones in its efforts to address the long-standing problem of chromium waste disposal in the region.

According to a recent supplementary report by the Supervisory Committee, a total of 46,457.26 tonnes out of the allocated 80,000 tonnes of waste have been successfully lifted and treated from chrome dumps located at Rania, Kanpur Dehat and Rakhi Mandi, Kanpur Nagar.

Bharat Oil and Waste Management Ltd, one of the key facilities involved in the project, has also made remarkable progress. Of the 5,000 tons of waste allocated, the company has lifted 2,923 tons and has effectively treated 1,579,285 metric tons of waste.

The development marks a significant step forward in the systematic disposal of legacy chromium waste, which has been a persistent problem since 1976, causing groundwater contamination and depriving residents of access to clean drinking water.

To prevent waste from leaching into groundwater during the upcoming rainy season, the processing unit stressed the need to complete the remaining work immediately, as highlighted in the oversight committee report. Based on on-site inspections, current progress, and the commitment shown by both facilities, the committee remains optimistic that the project can be completed within the anticipated May 2023 time frame.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has played a vital role in addressing this environmental concern. In an order issued on September 23, 2022, the NGT ordered all interested parties to take immediate corrective action to dispose of legacy chrome scrap and implement systematic measures to prevent similar situations in the future.

The oversight committee has been diligently reviewing the progress of the project and submitting regular reports to the NGT. The most recent supplemental report, dated March 20, 2023, provides an update on the compliance status. However, it should be noted that the completion date has been extended from August 2023 to October 2023, without citing any reason for the delay.

The report indicates that overall progress is 69%, which is a 2% increase since February 2023. Unfortunately, the project has only achieved a 15% progress rate over the past eight months, averaging just 2% per month. Consequently, there are concerns about the feasibility of meeting the project deadline at the current rate.

Also, it is worth mentioning that the water quality report uploaded from February 2023 confirms the persistent problems. It should be noted that the data related to FC/TC has not been uploaded since December 2022.

The Uttar Pradesh Waste Management Project continues to be a critical effort to ensure the proper disposal of chromium waste and safeguard the region’s groundwater resources. Continued efforts and close monitoring are necessary to mitigate the environmental risks associated with contamination and provide clean drinking water to the affected population.

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