NGT seeks action plan on management of e-waste

The applicant contended that electronic waste accounted for 40% of lead and 70% of all heavy metals found in landfills. (Representation image)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Union government to submit an action plan on the management of electronic waste within three months, saying its scientific disposal is an important factor for protecting the environment.

“Proper disposal of e-waste is undoubtedly an important issue. We consider it necessary to direct the MoEF, UP Pollution Control Board and the Central Pollution Control Board to look into the matter and prepare an action plan for enforcement of the rules as well as taking appropriate action against those violating the said rules," a bench presided over by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said.

The green panel issued a direction to the Ministry of Environment and Forests to submit its plan.

The tribunal was hearing a plea by Shailesh Singh against unauthorised "recycling, collection, dismantling, burning, selling" of e-waste and other solid waste on the roadside or riverbanks in violation of E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The applicant contended that electronic waste accounted for 40% of lead and 70% of all heavy metals found in landfills. He claimed that burning and selling of e-waste and other solid waste resulted in groundwater contamination, air pollution and soil acidification,

He claimed, before filing the application, he had written to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board seeking action for adherence to e-waste rules and the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines.

According to an Assocham report, e-waste generation was estimated at 1.8 million metric tonnes (MT) per annum in 2016 and would reach 5.2 million metric tonnes per annum by 2020. The generation of such a huge waste is feared to cause serious irreparable damage to soil, water and air if urgent steps for scientific disposal and recycling were not undertaken, the environmentalists feel.

E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, enacted on October 1, 2017, had extended within its purview components or consumables or parts or spares of Electrical and Electronic Equipment, along with their products.

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NGT seeks action plan on management of e-waste

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