Ignoring the presence of a high level of toxic metals in the groundwater in Narela Industrial area,the Delhi government has initiated a housing project there,risking the health of prospective occupants,an expert panel has said.
Taking serious note of the matter,the State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) has asked the Delhi State Infrastructural and Industrial Development Corporation (DSIIDC) to look into the issue of health hazards before continuing with the construction work.
The DSIIDC was building houses under the Rajiv Awaas Yojana for the urban poor. The Delhi government has to build 1,000 houses in the first phase of the project.
In a meeting,the SEAC,led by environmentalist C R Babu,sought the response of the DSIIDC for not seeking clearance for the project spread over an area of 55077.65 square metres meant for industrial workers. The project,worth Rs 44.55 crore,does not meet the requirement for environmental clearance, Babu said. But they had still gone ahead. We have sought the reasons for it. The SEAC has also asked the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to find the source of arsenic and mercury in groundwater and identify the units responsible for the pollution.
Arsenic is a carcinogen which causes cancer,Babu said.