Prohibited waste found in US consignment; Customs to take action

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Kochi, Oct 18 (UNI) A joint inspection by the Customs and the Kerala Pollution Control Board (KPCB) today of three container loads of a consignment from the US has revealed objectionable and prohibited material including municipal garbage.

The containers, which arrived at Cochin Port recently, were transported to the Container Freight Station at Pettah about two weeks ago. A random check by the Customs officials found municipal garbage in the consignment, following which the department asked the Kerala pollution control board to make a detailed examination.

Mr G Rajamohan, Chairman, KPCB, told UNI today that the detailed examination of the three containers, carrying a load of almost 60 tonnes, had revealed that these contained a ''substantial amount'' of municipal garbage and plastic waste.

Terming these as prohibited materials, Mr Rajamohan said the pollution control board will not allow the entry of the consignment into Kerala.

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

Customs Deputy Commissioner N S Ramachandran also confirmed that the joint inspection team, comprising officials of the pollution control board and the Customs Department, had found that the consignment consisted mainly of plastic waste.

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

Mr Ramachandran said the Customs will initiate legal action against the importer and issue a show cause notice to it.

Earlier, Customs Commissioner D D Ingty had told UNI that other countries should not consider India to be 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 said.

UNI

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