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Delhi becoming e-waste dumping yard

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:57am

Delhi, which is already reeling under high pollution, has now to deal with another environmental challenge—e-wastes. Over 2,000 trucks dump around 12,000 tonnes of e-waste in the city per day, according to an industry lobby's estimate.

"Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka generate over 25,000 tonnes of e-waste per day through various industrial activities and dump around 50 per cent of it at different places in Delhi, particularly at Turkeman Gate, Shastri Park, Loni, Seelampur and Mandavali," the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) President Sajjan Jindal said here on Monday.

The e-waste sent to Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore mostly makes its way to Delhi as there is a ready market for glass and plastic in the National Capital Region (NCR), reports IANS quoting Jindal.

"In fact, wastes from Mumbai constitute a bulk of the 60-70 tonnes of discarded electronics that land in Delhi's scrap yards everyday," the Assocahm President said.

Estimates also reveal that Delhi alone gets 25 per cent of the total e-waste generated in the developed world, which comes through cheaper imports.

Nearly 30,000 people are working in the city's various scrap yards and unauthorised recycling units.

As a result of continuous inflow of e-waste, the Delhi government has found it difficult to plant and grow saplings in the waste land, the industry forum said.

According to the Assocham, each state should develop its own scrap yards in the respective cities so that the environmental hazards would be minimised in Delhi.

It added that Delhi and the NCR have over 40,000 industrial and medical units, which are responsible for generating electronics and bio-medical waste.

The chamber has sent a proposal to the Delhi government, urging it to impose a ban on e-waste dumping in and around the NCR.

The Assocham has also suggested that the Delhi government plant more than two million saplings annually near the industrial centres to minimise the environmental hazards arising out of e-wastes.

The chamber has urged the state government to bring out effective legislation to prevent child labour in the recycling sector.

Over 6,000 children, of the 10-15 age group, are engaged in various e-waste activities, without adequate protection and safeguards in Delhi's various yards and recycling workshops, it said.

Besides global warming, e-waste is the most threatening environmental problem in the world today. In India, the total e-waste generation is approximately 3.8 lakh tonnes annually. And in the world, it is more than 20 million tonnes per year.

Sixty-five cities in India generate more than 60 per cent of the total e-waste generated in the country while 10 states generate 70 per cent of the total e-waste.
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