Guwa­hati in dire need of e-waste haz­ard aware­ness

The DQWeek (Kolkata) - - REGIONAL NEWS - DQW NEWS BUREAU Guwa­hati

Ex­perts have cau­tioned aware­ness among peo­ple against the increasing health haz­ards associated with the dis­posal of ewaste, pri­mar­ily com­put­ers.

Re­cy­cling e-waste has become a ma­jor con­cern for the city civic body.

Guwa­hati is among the 10 cities se­lected by the min­istry of elec­tron­ics and information technology which is in dire need to cre­ate e-waste aware­ness.

Amar­jy­oti Kashyap, an ex­pert in solid waste man­age­ment, said e-waste is a ma­jor threat to all cities. “We are yet to have any sys­tem­atic means of re­cy­cling the waste. With the ever-increasing use of elec­tronic gad­gets, all of us might be vic­tims of the side ef­fects of var­i­ous com­pli­cated dis­eases caused by e-waste in the fu­ture,” warned Kashyap, who is the pres­i­dent of En­v­i­ron, an NGO, be­stowed with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of cre­at­ing aware­ness on e-waste by the min­istry.

Lead, cad­mium, beryll i um or bromi­nated flame re­tar­dants, which can be ex­tremely harm­ful to health, are found in e-waste. Kashyap said they have started their cam­paign in schools, col­leges and other ed­uca- tional in­sti­tutes be­sides cor­po­rate houses.

“Im­me­di­ately, we have to make peo­ple aware of the harm­ful ef­fects of e-waste. Later, we can think of re­cyling,” he said. Other cities that need to step up aware­ness on elec­tronic waste are Im­phal, Bhubanesh­war, In­dore, Kolkata, Mo­rad­abad, Pan­jim, Patna, Pondicherry and Ranchi.

The waste is pri­mar­ily gen­er­ated from homes and the IT sec­tor. “If the waste is seg­re­gated prop­erly at the time of dis­posal, the prob­lem can he eas­ily sorted out,” said Kashyap, adding that the bat­tery and printed cir­cuit should be taken out at the time of dis­pos­ing them to an in­for­mal sec­tor for re­cy­cling. “It be­comes harm­ful when acid is used to recover the metal parts. This is highly un­sci­en­tific,” said Kashyap.

Around 1.7 MT e-waste is gen­er­ated ev­ery year in In­dia on an av­er­age and this comes mainly from house­holds, con­sumers and the IT sec­tor. The ex­act fig­ure for As­sam was not avail­able. The Guwa­hati Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion also does not have any plan for e-waste dis­posal. “We have solid waste man­age­ment plans. We hope to have a sep­a­rate e-waste man­age­ment plan in the com­ing days,” said an of­fi­cial of the GMC

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