'Air, water pollution levels rising in B'lore'

Minister for Forest and Environment Ramanath Rai has said it has come to the notice of the government that water and air pollution levels are steadily increasing in Bangalore.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is collecting samples of 55 lakes to assess the water quality, Rai said in a written reply to Eshwar Khandre (Cong) in the Legislative Assembly.

Compared to the stipulated norms of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the level of pollution in the capital is on higher side, he added.

To a query, Rai said the ground water was contaminated in the Peenya industrial area, Laggere, Herohalli, Hegganahalli, Dasarahalli and Abbigere areas of the City. Hence, the KSPCB has banned establishment of new electroplating/surface treatment plants.

e-waste processing

The State government has no plans to start an e-waste recycling and processing unit that facilitates extraction of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.

However, it will encourage private players to set up such units, Rai told the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to questions in this regard by Shivananda S Patil (Cong), the minister said the government is aware that precious metals could be extracted from e-waste. No state in the country has a plant to extract precious metals. But, the government will encourage private firms to put up waste processing units, he added.

Earlier, Patil said Bangalore, which is the IT capital for the last three decades, should have had a plant which can extract precious metals from e-waste. Such units are functioning in Japan, Germany and Belgium. About 20,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated in the state as per experts.

He said the annual e-waste generated in the state was 9,118 tons. It is left to the local bodies to process the waste. There are 30 private units to handle e-waste.

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