The Supreme Court today asked the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Bhopal to decide expeditiously on the disposal of 350 tonnes of toxic waste of the Bhopal Gas tragedy.
In its reply today, the Centre informed the court that the GoM is yet to take a final decision on this issue. However, it said, the GoM will be given a notice within two weeks if they fail to come up with a solution to the crisis.
The top court said, considering the importance of the issue, it is ready to sit and hear the case during the summer vacation. A Supreme Court bench has sent a request to the Chief Justice of India to fix a date for the hearing.
The court observed, "our concern is very simple. This waste must be disposed off without causing any injury to a single person." Criticising the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh government for delay in resolving the crisis, the top court said, "if we say it has become a game of football when will it end? Even the T-20 cricket match ends in two and a half hours."
Last month the court had directed the Madhya Pradesh government to dispose of the toxic waste of Union Carbide plant at the Pithampur waste disposal plant, 200 Km away from Bhopal by July.
While the Centre wants Pithampur to be finalised as the spot for the disposal, the state government has been opposing that. The main contention of the state government is that the Pithampur waste treatment storage and disposal facility (TSDF) is yet to be made operational. The state government fears that the disposal would kick up another disaster because if the temperature is not kept in check it could turn into toxic gas. It also fears stiff resistance from the locals too.