GPCB to ascertain e-waste quantum in Gujarat

After the solid, bio-medical, industrial and agricultural waste, now it will be the e-waste that may pose a grave challenge to the pollution regulators in Gujarat in the coming days. The extensive use of computers and other electronic devices — in government and corporate offices, educational and research institutions and even in households across the State — has apparently made the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) sit up.

The GPCB has decided to carry out a comprehensive survey to ascertain the exact quantum of e-waste being generated across Gujarat, mainly in major cities and towns. After the survey, which is expected to be completed in the next six months or so, the GPCB has plans to set up a landfill site for disposal of e-waste in Ahmedabad to begin with.

"We are very much concerned about the increasing use of electronic goods across the state, and the resultant generation of e-waste in the days to come. We have no other option but to initiate timely measures for its disposal for the good of general public health and environment," said GPCB's Member Secretary R G Shah.

Talking to The Indian Express on Monday, Shah said that the pollution board may engage a private agency to set up a landfill site in Ahmedabad for the disposal of e-waste.

Later, private parties could be encouraged to create such a facility in other major cities of Gujarat.

Asked, he said private firms willing to set up landfill sites would be provided subsidy, besides they could earn revenue on their investment by selling some useful scrap materials from the e-waste.

Shah said a landfill site for the e-waste disposal already existed in Bangalore – the IT hub of the country. A team of GPCB officials was recently sent to Bangalore to study the functioning of the site, he added. In fact, the Central Pollution Control Board has already issued guidelines to all the states as to how to tackle this new challenge being posed by the e-waste.

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