Basel pact: Sign it, file it, forget it | HT Tech

Basel pact: Sign it, file it, forget it

Why would any government sign an international convention? In India, at least in the case of the Basel Convention, the answer seems to be to file and forget it.

By: EARTH WATCH | BHARATI CHATURVEDI
| Updated on: May 23 2005, 19:01 IST

Why would any government sign an international convention? In India, at least in the case of the Basel Convention, the answer seems to be to file and forget it. Just last month, the Danish environment minister sent her counterpart a letter urgently warning him about a 51year-old asbestos contaminated ship that had illegally slipped out of Denmark before it could be decontaminated. It had changed its name to Frederick and was about to reach Alang shipyard for being broken in complete violation of the Basel Convention.

The warning gave the Centre a chance to send the ship back and thus send a strong global message that it will not tolerate toxic trade. But it didn't. Now, the Danes have apparently shot off another letter in this connection to the external affairs minister. Isn't it amazing how a country in far away Europe needs to re mind India that the environment and the health of its citizens and workers need to be safeguarded? 

A glass of trash  

Although there have protests against using the Delhi Ridge as a landfill, the Ridge Management Board has passed an MCD proposal to use four pits of the Bhatti Mines area (despite the fact they work to recharge ground water) for landfilling though it will mean denotifying substantial portions of the Ridge forest. How does this affect Delhiites?

A recent conference at IITDelhi discussed how using the Bhatti mines for landfills would contaminate South Delhi's water. This will lead to an exponential health crisis with South Delhi's already meagre water supply getting contaminated.

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(If you feel for planet earth, write in to earthwatch1@ rediffmail.com)

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First Published Date: 23 May, 19:01 IST
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