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NGT restrains HUL from upscaling mercury remediation at Kodaikanal plant

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The has restrained FMCG Hindustan from upscaling mercury remediation process at its plant in and asked the Board (CPCB) to obtain an expert opinion in the matter.

A bench headed by NGT Justice was informed that experts in this field were available with IIT Delhi and in the who deal with the subject of mercury contamination and bio-magnification.

"Accordingly, with a view to proceed further in the matter, we consider it appropriate to direct the Board (CPCB) to obtain an expert opinion in the matter from any institute having expertise in mercury contamination. The CPCB may also examine the trial results undertaken by NEERI in the present case...

"The experts will be at liberty to visit the site, if it is so considered necessary. Hindustan Limited (HUL) may not upscale the remediation process till the next date," the bench said.

The green panel said the parties would also be at liberty to furnish relevant documents to CPCB so that it could secure an opinion in the matter within six weeks.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by resident Navroz Mody against the remediation levels that have been set at 20-25 mg per kg on the ground that it was not scientifically tenable and that the right standard was 6.6 mg per kg.

The NGT said the issue was raised before the Madras High Court, which allowed Mody to approach the which has justified the standard that was being followed at the site.

"According to the applicant, the stand does not have any sound technical basis. The same cannot be mechanically accepted without expert opinion," the bench said.

The matter was posted for next hearing on October 4.

The mercury contamination in Kodaikanal originated at a thermometer factory owned by Hindustan Unilever had acquired the thermometer factory from The incident had led to the closure of the factory in 2001.

According to the applicant, Ltd imported 136.5 tonnes of mercury in its factory at Kodaikanal to manufacture thermometers. Several tonnes of broken thermometers and mercury waste were found by the residents after which the Board ordered closure of the unit on March 23, 2001.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 06 2018. 19:46 IST