GUWAHATI, June 24 - Expressing concern at the growing volume of electronic waste and the health hazards associated with it due to absence of a scientific mechanism to handle such waste, State Minister of Science and Technology Keshab Mahanta has asked AMTRON to submit a proposal for establishing a formal e-waste recycling unit in or around Guwahati city, under the Digital India Initiative.
Inaugurating a workshop organised by Environ � a group promoting environmental management � at the AMTRON office on Thursday, the Minister stated that the health risk associated with the mishandling of electronic waste cannot be ignored in view of the growing usage of electronic items.
Guwahati is one of the ten cities selected by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for creating awareness about environmental hazards of electronic waste. As a ground level implementation partner of the programme, Environ has organised several such sessions at educational institutions and among other stakeholders.
MK Yadava, MD, AMTRON also stressed the need to start the practice of careful handling of electronic waste to avoid future complications.
Elaborating on the theme of the workshop, Dr Amarjyoti Kashyap, president of Environ said that with the growing use of devices and electronic items, environmental risk is also increasing.
�Unlike in the metros, our recycling units are not well equipped to segregate the plastic and heavy metals in a scientific way to avoid hazards. This is creating a great environmental risk gradually. As we dump the electronic items with municipal solid waste, most of the time the circuit boards and batteries are left untreated on the garbage dumping grounds. Such items emit toxic material that gets mixed with the soil. Moreover, due to a craze among people to use latest equipment without a proper mechanism to dispose of old devices, we are piling up such waste in our homes, offices etc,� he added.
India is the fifth largest generator of electronic waste producing 1.7 million tonne electronic waste annually.
AMTRON Vice chairman Ritubaran Sarma, while lauding the role of Environ in creating awareness on the issue, said that electronic recycling centres must be started in Guwahati to streamline the process of e-waste management.
Additional manager AMTRON, HN Pathak gave a presentation on the theme of the workshop. General manager AMTRON, Sanjeeb Kumar Sarma also spoke on the occasion.