Customs 'seals' US waste consignment; to issue notice to importer

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Kochi, Oct 22 (UNI) The Customs department has ''sealed'' the prohibited US medical and e-waste consignment, which landed at the Cochin port earlier this month, and is in the process of issuing a show cause notice to the importer, officials said today.

The three container loads of waste, weighing almost 60 tonnes, consisted of almost 25 to 40 per cent of municipal garbage, medical waste and computer peripherals, a detailed examination by the Kerala Pollution Control Board on Thursday last had revealed.

The KPCB, in its report to the Customs, had recommended that the waste be sent back immediately to the point of origin.

Customs Deputy Commissioner N S Ramachandran told UNI that the department had initiated the legal procedure to issue a show cause notice to Kochin Kadalas, the local paper manufacturing company which had imported the consignment, which was to consist of waste paper only.

''Our investigation has started and we are in the process of issuing a notice to the importer for bringing in prohibited material in violation of the Customs Act,'' he said.

The consignment was sent by Bellsun Corp., a New York-based company.

Meanwhile, the waste consignment, being kept at the Container Freight Station at Pettah near Kochi, had been ''sealed'' and was in the Customs Department's custody, he said.

The discovery of municipal garbage, medical and e-waste in a consignment meant to contain only waste paper had prompted Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and Kerala Health Minister P K Sreemathy to declare that they would not allow developed nations to use India as a dumping ground for their refuse.

The consignment had landed at Cochin Port earlier this month. A preliminary examination by the Customs had revealed municipal garbage, following which it had asked the state pollution control board to conduct a detailed examination of the material.


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