An AIIMS panel, formed by the Centre after a chemical spill at the Tughlaqabad depot here, was today directed by the National Green Tribunal to submit its report on the impact of the incident. Around 450 girl students of the Rani Jhansi School and Government Girls Senior Secondary School, run by the city administration, had to be hospitalised on May 6 after toxic fumes spread due to the leakage.
Most of the students, who complained of irritation in the eyes and breathlessness, were discharged after a few hours but a few had to be kept under observation. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed Dr Y K Gupta, head of the Pharmacology Department of AIIMS, to file the complete report based on his visit to the place. It also asked the AIIMS to submit a supplementary report and inform about the children who got affected by the leakage and whether they have suffered any serious health problems. This is the second time that the AIIMS panel has failed to submit its report despite direction from the NGT.
Advocate Sanjay Upadhyay, who has filed a plea seeking to shift of the container depot, referred to the AIIMS report and said that the tribunal should proceed on its basis as it has very categorical observations on the whole incident. He said the trucks and heavy vehicles which are not destined to Delhi should be stopped from coming to the national capital as they cause air pollution. The matter is fixed for hearing on August 8. Earlier, the NGT had asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to state whether such containers carrying toxic material should be permitted in Tughlaqabad which is located in the heart of the city. The expert panel of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had earlier said that the residents of the Tughlaqabad area were “sitting on a (ticking) bomb” and opined that the inland container depot should be relocated.
The green panel had impleaded Customs and Excise department as a party in the case and directed them to file their reply on the issue. It had also directed officials from MoEF, Central Pollution Control Board, department of industries in Haryana and the state pollution control board to conduct a joint inspection of the Sonepat-based agrochemical company Crystal Crop Protection Pvt Ltd which was the consignee of the leaked 2- chloromethyl- 5 (chloromethyl) in the case. On May 8, the NGT had issued notices to the MoEF, Delhi government, Railway Board, Container Corporation of India and Delhi Pollution Control Committee and asked them to file their replies within a week after taking note of the incident on its own.