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Bengal focus on e-waste management

Calcutta, May 12: The Bengal IT department has initiated the process of setting up an e-waste management and processing unit in an adjoining district of Calcutta.

It is scouting for a suitable plot of land in North and South 24-Parganas and Howrah.

Sources said this would ideally require not more than two acres, and the move was in tandem with the enforcement of e-waste guidelines issued by the Centre in May 2012.

The Indian government’s e-waste (management and handling) Rules, 2011, which were made effective the following year, brought within its ambit producers and consumers engaged in the sale, manufacture, purchase and processing of electronic equipment and components. It propagated the reduction in the use of environmentally hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium in new electrical and electronic equipment.

“We have been working on the feasibility of such a unit for quite some time now and are deciding how this will be executed. It may be done single-handedly by the state government itself whereby it may call a tender to select parties who will build the facility. Or it may well be done through a public-private partnership. It will be an e-waste processing unit and we have approached the district magistrates to help us select land in any one place,” the source said.

A dismantler or recycler of such waste needs to apply to the State Pollution Control Board to seek a prior consent and registration. In case of the transportation of e-waste for final disposal in a facility, a no-objection certificate (NoC) is required from the board.

According to Binay K. Dutta, chairman of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), a survey was conducted by it in 2010 to analyse the extent of the generation of electrical and electronic waste.

“This revealed that the estimated generation of both electrical and electronic waste in 2009 was 26,000 tonnes in the Calcutta Metropolitan area. This was projected to reach 1.50 lakh tonnes a year by 2020. In our state, J S Pigments has secured an NoC from us for dismantling e-waste and will soon start work,” he said.

 
 
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