Daijiworld Media Network - Mysuru (SP)
Mysuru, Apr 18: It has been confirmed that waste containing water sensitive chemicals had claimed the life of a boy at Naganalli in the outskirts of the city.
A team of experts, led by the district administration, which collected samples of sand from the area, has sent them for laboratory testing. The team found that the temperature of sand at the spot, which is finer as compared to sand found in other areas in the village, has brown and grey hues. Temperature at the spot stands at 110 degree Celsius, which is quite high. Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Laxman, said that four samples from the spot and five from other areas around it have been collected and sent for testing. Geologists and environment pollution officials were among those who visited the area.
Some villagers have complained that discharge of poisonous chemicals by some factories located near this area has caused this catastrophe. Former chief minister of the state, H D Kumaraswamy, relying on certain sources, has placed the blame on the government mint in the city for the tragedy, duly accusing it of disposing off printing chemical waste at the spot. Secretary of Mysore Industries Association, Suresh Kumar Jain, also has supported this notion. He has alleged that the association had complained about the unscientific disposal of printing chemicals by Reserve Bank of India about five years back and that the Reserve Bank neither took steps to correct its mistakes nor did it establish waste processing plant.
Some scientists attribute this phenomenon to the presence of chemicals like Phosphorous and Sodium Hydrate. There have also been chances of graphite and lead having caused the death. The experts hope to receive test reports in about two weeks time. Senior environmental officer in Karnataka State Pollution Control Board here, K M Lingaraju, said that the officials were dumbstruck about the cause of fire in an open field where garbage or chemical were not found to have been strewn around. He also added that the place is far away from proper roads and that no tyre marks were found around the area.
In the meanwhile, district in-charge minister, H C Mahadevappa, announced an ex gratia of two lac rupees to the family of Harshal (14), who died of burns during his visit to the open field for defecation on Sunday. As Manoj (17) suffered burns after sitting on a heap of sand, Harshal, who had accompanied him, had pulled Manoj out. During this effort, Harshal reportedly fell into the heap and suffered severe burns.
Harshal's father, Murthy, who held the factories located around the area responsible for the death of his son, also criticized the officials for not doing their duty of taking steps against the guilty promptly. He wants the officials to at least wake up now to the danger posed by chemical waste and take preventive measures before the waste causes further devastation.