National

Awareness drive on e-waste in Odisha

Press Trust of India Bhubaneshwar | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 08, 2016

With over a billion mobile phones in use across the country, e-waste has emerged as a major challenge for governments and the state government will launch a sensitisation programme here from December 15 to March 31.

This was decided at a workshop organised by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), Manufacturing Association of Information Technology (MAIT) and Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.

A pilot programme is being run Kolkata, Patna, Ranchi, Puducherry, Guwahati, Imphal, Panjim, Moradabad and Indore, besides Bhubaneswar, Nasscom officials said.

Chief Secretary AP Padhi told the workshop that e-waste management should be made an economically viable option so that professional agencies take up the work in a scientific and systematic manner.

He asked the forest and environment department to initiate a special awareness drive in collaboration with the education department and educational institutions.

Secretary to forest and environment department SC Mohapatra said e-waste is an important and emergent issue because of its environmental impacts.

Daunting problem

CEO of Nasscom Foundation Shrikant Sinha said, “We feel proud that India has crossed over a billion mobile phones, but the fact also remains that these smart devices of today are going to be e-waste in a very near future. The situation gets worse when we include all the other e-waste categories.”

The e-waste is mostly handled by child labourers on open grounds and broken down manually to extract recyclable metals, which are resold. It left both the workers and soil exposed to toxic materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury and the acid fumes generated in the process, he said.

Published on December 08, 2016
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