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Central legislation to regulate e-waste on the cards

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, May 3 : A Central legislation to regulate and manage e-waste is on the anvil, with the Union Government taking note of the increasing generation of e-waste in the country, a top official informed today.

''The Union Environment and Forests Ministry is keen on addressing the menace by bringing in a legislation after holding discussions with all the stakeholders concerned. The Ministry did not want to impose any regulations or guidelines on its own,'' Mr Sanjay K Srivastava, Director of International Cooperation and Sustainable Development under the Ministry, said.

Speaking at a two-day national workshop on e-waste legislation, jointly organised by the Ministry and German Technical Cooperation here, he said the model legislation would be in the format of a notification under the Environment Protection Act to regulate wastes from electronic and electrical equipment.

The main objective of the proposed legislation would be to implement eco-friendly management, avoid illegal operations and control trans-boundary movement of such wastes.

Mr Srivastava said over 1.38 million PCs would become obsolete from the business sector and individual households, and around 1,050 tonnes of electronic scrap were being produced by manufacturers and assemblers in one year.

Bangalore, hailed as the IT capital of the country, housed about 1,322 software companies and 36 hardware manufacturing units, besides the BPO segment. It generated around 30,000 obsolete computers annually, which ultimately end up as e-waste, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, former Karnataka Chief Secretary Dr A Ravindra, who was also heading E-Waste Agency (EWA), an NGO working to oversee and steer the implementation of e-waste management system in the Southern region, lamented that e-waste was not regulated and there was no legislation to manage the problem.

Apart from bringing in a legislation, there was a need to create awareness among e-waste generators and the public. EWA had done a study on e-waste in the city and realised that not even a single formal agency or individual was involved in re-cycling e-waste, which had become the main source of health hazard and environmental degradation in the city.

Karnataka Environment and Forests Minister C Chennigappa, assured that the State Government was ready to cooperate with the Centre in bringing in such a legislation.

The workshop was being attended by senior officials of Central and various State Pollution Control Boards, representatives of MAIT, NASSCOM, CETMA, TEMA, ELCINA, ELCIA, CII, BCIC and CLIK, besides NGOs from across the country working on e-waste. International experts from Germany, Switzerland and Norway were also taking part.


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