ibnlive » India

May 02, 2010 at 09:54am IST

AERB orders probe into DU radiation leak

New Delhi: The radioactive leakage at Mayapuri has now turned into a political battle. What’s unusual though is that the parties battling it out are not political honchos but academic elites. It started with the head of the Chemistry department at DU, Professor Ramesh Chandra blowing the lid off a controversy that allegedly was buried years ago.

BR Ambedkar Center for Bio-Medical Research, Delhi University Director, Ramesh Chandra said, "In 1986, I saw 2-3 professors dumping radioactive waste used for experiments. I raised my voice, no one bothered. It’s unsafe...all science department are unsafe. Radioactive material is being used everyday and we don’t even know how to dispose it. Students, lab staff will be affected...consequences for the next 20 - 30years"

However, DU Vice chancellor Deepak was quick to rubbish all these claims.

“No uranium, This kind of material is not there in the university. This is so bizarre a statement,” said, Pental in response to Chandra’s allegation.

He has also hinted that Prof Chandra was trying to settle personal scores.

“It could be if people are no longer in the job and they have been dismissed from their service there can be a feeling of bitterness,” said Pental.

DU authorities are considering legal action against Chandra but the vice chancellor's defense might not work with many others within DU who are aggressively gunning for his head.

Joint Secretary, DUTA Dr Jafri S. Shabih Abbas said, "How can he continue... he must step down."

Meanwhile the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA, says it has sought more information on the radiation leak. Authorities say it will take at least a month before a detailed investigation is completed. But one thing is for sure; the image of the university has definitely taken a hit and they will be fortunate if the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) doesn't go ahead and cancel their research license.