Electronic waste, or e-waste, is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world, and Delhi is no exception. To address this growing problem, the Delhi government announced an e-waste park in Holambi Kalan in 2021. Although, this is a positive step towards e-waste management, there are still many challenges that need to be addressed.
The Delhi government has taken several measures in the past to deal with the e-waste problem in the city. In 2010, the government introduced the e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, which mandated the proper disposal of e-waste by producers and manufacturers. The government also established e-waste collection centres and authorized e-waste recyclers to ensure proper disposal.
In 2018, the government launched the ‘Swachh Delhi’ app to help citizens report cases of illegal dumping and burning of e-waste. In addition, the government imposed a ban on the sale of e-waste to scrap dealers without authorization from the Pollution Control Committee.
E-Waste Park in Delhi
The proposed e-waste park in Holambi Kalan is a welcome move by the Delhi government. When the project was initially announced, the then lieutenant governor Anil Baijal reviewed it in a meeting in September 2021. The deadline was set for 2023-end. However, in a subsequent review of the project in July 2022, environment minister Gopal Rai said the project will be ready in another two years, setting a new deadline of July 2024.
The e-waste park is expected to cover an area of 20 acres and will house a state-of-the-art facility for the disposal and recycling of e-waste. The project is estimated to cost around Rs. 350 crores and is being developed by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC).
The park is expected to create job opportunities for the local community. Further, promote the circular economy by recycling e-waste and extracting valuable materials. The park will also have a research and development centre to develop new technologies for e-waste management.
One of the major challenges in e-waste management is the involvement of the informal sector. According to reports, the informal sector still handles 90% of e-waste in Delhi. These informal recyclers use crude methods to extract valuable materials, which leads to environmental and health hazards. Another challenge is the lack of awareness among citizens about the proper disposal of e-waste. Many people still dispose of e-waste in landfills or sell it to scrap dealers, which only adds to the problem.
The Delhi government needs to take more proactive measures to ensure the proper disposal of e-waste and to create awareness among citizens. It is also crucial to involve the informal sector in the e-waste management process and to provide them with proper training and equipment. It is imperative for the government and citizens to work together towards a sustainable future. With the new deadline of July 2024, the Delhi government needs to expedite the construction process. And, ensure that the e-waste park is up and running as soon as possible.
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