Mysuru: A six-member expert committee constituted by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to investigate the mystery fire at Shyadanahalli near Belavatha on the outskirts of the city visited the site this morning. The committee has been tasked to probe the reasons behind the death of 14-year-old boy Harshal in April this year.
Harshal died of severe burns and his friend Manoj was injured when they accidentally entered the area that was burning due to the presence of hazardous materials in the soil.
The team led by B.S. Jai Prakash, Vice President, Academy of Certified Hazardous Material Manager, India Chapter, Bangalore Institute of Technology, Bengaluru, arrived in the city last evening and arrived at the site this morning. Other members of the team are Prof. Chanakya, of Indian Institute of Science, Srinivas, Inspector of Factories, Pollution Officer Dr. Nagappa, Dr. Manoj Kumar of Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering and Lingaraju, Senior Environment Officer, KSPCB Mysuru Division.
Examining the areas around the accident spot, the expert committee said that the affected area was about 30 to 40 ft. and the land temperature has come down drastically due to rains. Samples were collected from the spot and the land surface was dug up to collect samples.
After the site inspection up to two hours, the team members said that they will take a decision on shifting hazardous materials from the land. “In principle we have decided to shift harmful chemicals from this place to clear the area and declare it safe. We will, however, hold a meeting with the Pollution Control Board before excavating and shifting of the soil,” they said.
Dr. Jai Prakash said that they would submit their final report to the KSPCB in 10 days. “This is our third visit to the place and we will have to examine the findings after testing the samples that were collected today and during earlier visits,” he added.