PCB chief promises steps to clear mercury waste

A panel of experts should be constituted to assess the pollution level in water bodies due to the release of mercury wastes by Hindustan Unilever’s thermometer factory and a committee, comprising former employees, NGOs and revenue officials, to monitor clearing of wastes as per the international standard were the demands raised by MLAs, former employees of thermometer factory and NGOs at a meeting held here with Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board Chairman K. Skandan on Monday.

The PCB Chairman assured that he would discuss with the government and a decision would be taken on removal of wastes after consultations with all sections of people in Kodaikanal. Earlier, Dindigul MLA K. Balabarathi insisted that wastes be removed as per international standards. An expert panel should be constituted to test water in Kodaikanal lake and other water bodies. A tri-partite meeting, comprising labour officials, company management and workers union, should also be convened in Kodaikanal to pay compensation to former employees, he said. Earlier, the Chairman, along with Collector T.N. Hariharan, MLAs K. Balabarathi and K.S.N. Venugopalu, and Kodaikanal Municipal Chairman R. Sridhar and factory officials, inspected the site and assessed the situation.