Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
In a release issued here, it said waste burning of all kind causes emission of several Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) which poison our food chain. Citing a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, it said that incinerators alone account for 69 per cent of dioxin emissions worldwide. Dioxins are endocrine disrupters, which impact the human reproductive system among other things.
The release of the note countrywide coincides with the first day of the Seventh Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC 7) meeting of the Stockholm Convention on POPs now under way in Geneva.
The GAIA comprises 227 groups and individuals from 61 countries. In India, environmental organisations like Srishti and Toxics Link are part of this global coalition.
According to the release, waste incineration is a dying technology and waste treatment technology is unreliable and produces a secondary waste stream more dangerous than the original. As an energy production method, it is inefficient and is a waste of resources. "Also as an economic development tool, it is a catastrophe, which drains money out of local communities and creates scarce and often dangerous jobs,'' says Ravi Agarwal of Toxics Link.
He adds, "The global resistance against incinerators and other forms of waste disposal is growing. Thus worldwide the incineration industry has proven itself to be phenomenally unpopular. The third world countries like India are witnessing a spread of this dirty technology.''
International financial institutions like the World Bank Group are said to be encouraging it despite the violation of several multilateral environment agreement it entails.
In the name of technology transfer, waste incineration is not only being propagated but also subsidized in India through the programmes of the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy Sources and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The attempts by developed countries to include incinerators in the WTO list of environmental good and services is a case in point. A survey done in September 2002 by Srishti for bio-medical waste incinerators revealed that installation of incinerators in Delhi are on a constant decline but open burning of waste is equally hazardous. The plight of other cities leaves a lot to be desired.
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