In the Hindu dated 6th August 2015, it was reported that ‘Unilever ready to clean up premises at Kodaikanal. Seeks consent of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’. This aspect appeared in other news papers subsequently. In this matter, TNPCB issues the following Press Release as clarification of the current status.
M/s. Hindustan Unilever Limited is a defunct thermometer manufacturing unit in Kodikanal. TNPCB issued closure direction to unit in the year 2001 for the reason that the unit had disposed the mercury contaminated scraps in an improper manner. Since 2001, the unit has not been in operation. Based on the directions of TNPCB, the unit has removed the mercury contaminated scraps in 2003 and decontaminated the machineries and materials in 2006. The scientific study thereafter revealed that the soil in the plant premises contained mercury requiring remediation. The Scientific Expert Committee (SEC) formed by Supreme Court Monitoring Committee have gone through the issues in detail. The SEC met on 28.5.2015 and recommended for soil remediation in the unit’s premises. As per the minutes of the meeting communicated, the unit has to furnish a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the remediation, containment of remediated soil within a month time. But so far the unit has not furnished the proposal. Hence TNPCB has written to the unit to give reasons for delay in submission of the report for soil remediation, containment of remediated soil. The DPR will be examined in consultation with Local Area Committee for further action. TNPCB will go into the need for examining subsisting effects of mercury in the environment by conducting a depth and spread study.
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board