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South Delhi unaware of e-waste hazards: Survey

Source: The Pioneer, Date: , 2013

The environmental hazards of e-waste — electronic items that have been disposed of — have become a serious concern for South Delhi areas which seem to generate more of such trash than other parts of the Capital, according to a survey.

A survey conducted by students of Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Science, Dwarka has revealed that South Delhi residents are the least aware of proper e-waste disposal practices, despite being among the top users of high-end electronic devices.

The survey — with three parameters being consumption, usage and e-waste awareness — showed that 83.6 per cent population of South Delhi was either ‘unaware’ or ‘doubtful’ about the environmental hazards.

Another survey carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) puts Delhi among the top 10 cities generating e-waste. As per estimates, Delhi produces around 15,000 tonne per year.

The report was discussed in a two-day national seminar on inefficient implementation of e-waste management and its threats to health and environment of the country at the Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Science on Thursday. It emphasised the need to create awareness through producer-consumer sensitization of the issue.

BC Sabata, senior scientist, Department of Environment and Forest of Delhi Government, said the Government had brought in regulations to stop e-waste dumping but that was not of much help since the general public is largely ignorant about such issues. “In Delhi we have set-up 180 eco clubs in schools which can further facilitate as supporting centres for e-waste management, starting with the awareness aspect. People discard gadgets and sell it to local scrap dealers without knowing where it’s going and what effects it can have on environment,” he said.

He also added that the Government was holding talks with the University Grants Commission for seeking to include environment-related issues in the courses. Satish Sinha, the associate director of Toxics Link, a non-profit environmental organisation, said the aim of Government regulations was to give a proper framework for disposal of e-waste.

“When hazardous waste rules and municipal waste rules were made in India, they took time in implementation. Similar could be the case with e-waste regulation. The failure in implementation of rules is due to lack of proper infrastructure. There are gaps between the stakeholders two of which are the Central Board of Pollution Control and State Board of Pollution Control,” he added.