KPCB asks Customs to send back consignment to US

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Kochi, Oct 18 (UNI) The Kerala Pollution Control Board (KPCB) today recommended Customs Department to immediately send back the consignment from United States on the ground that it contained prohibited material including municipal garbage and e-waste.

KPCB Chairman G Rajamohan told UNI that a four-member committee constituted by the Board had inspected the three container loads of the consignment, totalling about 60 tonne, at the Container Freight Station at Pettah near Kochi today and found that the containers had a ''substantial load'' of prohibited material including municipal solid waste, plastic and metal scrap and computer peripherals.

While 40 per cent of one container consisted of this waste, the other two containers contained 25 to 40 per cent of prohibited waste.

However, prima facie, there was no hazardous material in the consignment, he said.

''In our report, which is being submitted to the Customs Department today, we have recommended that the consignment be sent back immediately to the US,'' the PCB Chairman added.

The containers arrived at Cochin Port recently and were sent to the container freight station two weeks ago.

A random check by the Customs officials had found municipal garbage in the consignment, following which the department asked the KPCB to conduct a detailed examination.

Customs Deputy Commissioner N S Ramachandran said the department would initiate legal action against the importer for violation of the Customs Act.

A show cause notice would be issued as the first step, Mr Ramachandran said.

The consignment, imported from New York by Kochin Kadalas, a paper factory in Ambalamugal near here, was supposed to consist of waste paper only.

Earlier, Customs Commissioner D D Ingty told UNI that other countries should not consider India a dumping ground for their municipal waste. ''We will not allow such consignments into the country,'' he said.

Last year, almost 15 containers of waste were seized and sent back from Cochin port, the Customs Commissioner added.

UNI

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