Govt sets in motion work on Delhi’s first e-waste park | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Govt sets in motion work on Delhi’s first e-waste park

ByAlok KN Mishra
Oct 13, 2023 05:22 AM IST

Delhi currently generates an estimated 200,000 tonne of e-waste each year, based on Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data

In April 2021, the Delhi government announced that it would set up the country’s first electronic waste (e-waste) park. More than two years on, the project has finally been set in motion, officials aware of the matter said.

A majority of the e-waste in Delhi lands up in landfill sites or garbage bins. (HT Photo)
A majority of the e-waste in Delhi lands up in landfill sites or garbage bins. (HT Photo)

Delhi currently generates an estimated 200,000 tonne of e-waste each year, based on Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, but the city does not have a dedicated e-waste park, due to which a majority of the e-waste lands up in landfill sites or garbage bins, or largely ends up in the informal sector where they are dismantled and recycled in violation of all the laid down environmental safety rules.

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The e-waste park, which is set to come up over a 21-acre area in northwest Delhi’s Holambi Kalan, will allow this waste to be collected and recycled under one roof, officials said.

“We have hired a consultant, and the consultant has started the work on preparing a detailed project report on the shape and features of the ambitious project. The project has to strictly follow the guidelines laid down by the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016. The consultant has been asked to complete the detailed project report before the end of the year. The work started last week, and we expect the consultant to submit its report by the end of this year,” a Delhi government official said, declining to be named.

E-waste rules mandate the state government or any authorised agency to ensure the collection of electronic waste through collection centres or a collection point, while also ensuring the recognition and registration of workers involved in dismantling and recycling such items. The government also has to assist in the formation of groups of such workers to facilitate setting up dismantling facilities; undertake industrial skill development activities for the workers involved in dismantling and recycling and undertake annual monitoring and to ensure safety & health of workers involved in dismantling and recycling.

After the e-waste park project was announced in April 2021, it initially had a 2023-end deadline for launch fixed by then lieutenant governor Anil Baijal. After 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 deadline of July 2024.

On April 21, HT reported that Delhi State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIDC) floated a tender for the park in February, which found no takers. The corporation was then forced to float the tender again in March, after which a company was engaged last week to prepare the project report to construct the park.

To be sure, officials said that the construction of the e-park will take around 18 months, meaning that such a space will not be operational before at least 2025.

A DSIIDC official, aware of the project, said, “The detailed project report will be a comprehensive report on the feasibility as well as conceptual plan of the e-waste project, including the problems and risks it may pose. After it is submitted to us, the department will put up the final report to the Delhi government for consideration and approval. After the plan is approved, the work to establish the e-waste park as per the prepared plan will begin.”

Without a dedicated e-waste park, the Capital is still reliant on the city’s only registered e-waste collection centre in northeast Delhi’s Mandoli Industrial area. There are meanwhile six registered e-waste dismantlers, spread across Okhla, Peeragarhi and Mandoli, while two registered e-waste refurbishers at Patparganj and Badarpur are responsible for generating value from the collected e-waste.

However, the non-governmental organisation Toxics Link, in a 2018 study, found that nearly 5,000 informal e-waste processing units are functional across Delhi-NCR — a majority of them operating without any proper guidelines or following any safety norms.

Priti Banthia Mahesh, chief programme coordinator, Toxics Link, said, “The e-waste park is a good concept but I think it will be important to see how and whether Eco Park in Delhi will be able to integrate the existing informal sector. Unless it provides them with some concrete benefits, they may not be willing to be part of this. For an Eco park of this scale, economic feasibility may be possible only if the e-waste from other parts of the country also comes in. Unless proper monitoring is done, this open flow may cause more concerns.”

Environment minister Gopal Rai said the consultant has begun preparing the detailed project report for the park. “The disposal of the e-waste by following all environment rules is a priority of the Delhi government, and it is part of the government’s larger goal to make environment cleaner. The consultant has been asked to submit its report as soon as possible and cover all aspects of the project. After the consultant submits its report, a proposal will be put up in the cabinet,” said Rai.

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