UPPCB to develop mega recycling hubs for plastic, medical, e-waste
The state pollution control board is planning to develop five dedicated mega hubs for waste recycling, focusing on plastic, e-waste and non-biodegradable medical waste like single-use PPE kits, gloves masks etc. These hubs will be able to recycle all kinds of plastic, e-waste and single-use medical waste as per the existing modern scientific methods with minimum impact on the environment.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) officials, plans are to set up these facilities in at least five places across the state. UPPCB chief environment officer RK Singh said, “The mega hubs will house over 50 facilities each to recycle medical plastic with different modern methods. These facilities will be operated by private partners, while the government will provide the basic infrastructure, making it a public-private partnership (PPP) work model.”
The plan was proposed on suggestions from environmental experts and researchers, who apprised the board about the spike in the single-use medical plastic and e-waste during Covid-19 times.
“Electronic waste accounts for 40% of lead and 70% of heavy metals found in our landfills. These pollutants are responsible for groundwater contamination, air and soil pollution,” said Shalini Sharma, CEO of Sanshodhan, an E-Waste Exchange programme. Sharma added that the real issue is the way the e-waste is recycled. “Nearly 95% of recycling of electronic waste is carried out by the unskilled informal sector that poses a threat to both the recycler and the environment. It is the prerogative of the state government to formalise this sector by providing training and required infrastructure.”
The situation has become alarming, considering that Uttar Pradesh is among the leading producers of e-waste in the country.
Moreover, as per UPPCB estimates 40K tonnes of biomedical waste was generated, across the state, in the last two years. Almost one-third of which was in form of disposable PPE kits, masks, testing swabs, pipettes etc... used in the management of Covid-19 patients.
The location of these hubs is yet to be finalised, but Moradabad, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Kanpur and Prayagraj are among the most probable locations, according to senior officials of the board. “Moradabad and Ghaziabad are already major hubs for e-waste recycling in the state. They process almost one-third of the total e-waste generated in the state,” said a senior member of the board.
UPCCB officials are also reaching out to researchers and companies currently working in the recycling industry for guidance in the development of these mega hubs. Research institutes under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are also being roped in.
A partial shutdown was observed in parts of Srinagar on Saturday on the call of separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on the death anniversaries of his father Molvi Mohammad Farooq and senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone. Another local said commercial activities were also suspended in Khanyar, Fatah Kadal, Habba Kadal and Bohri Kadal areas.
Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday reshuffled four Indian Police Services officers. A 2003-batch IPS officer, PD Prasad, has been posted as inspector general of southern range in superannuation of Himanshu Mishra. Rameshwar Singh Thakur, IG, state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau, has been posted as the IG CID (intelligence). HP principal secretary, health, Subashish Panda said allied health professionals play an important role and the state government would be soon implementing the same.
The head priest of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, Pandit Amir Chand, passed away at his residence in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on Saturday morning, officials said. Pandit Chand belonged to the family of Pandit Shridhar, who believed to have discovered the three-peaked cave shrine in Trikuta Hills some 700 years ago. “The mortal remains of the priest were consigned to flames at Banganga later in the day,” said a police officer.
J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said terrorism is the gravest threat to peace and prosperity and no one will be allowed to create disturbances in UT. Sinha administered the 'Anti-Terrorism Pledge' to senior officials, DCs and SSPs at Raj Bhawan to mark the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day. “I reaffirm our strong commitment to uphold peace and harmony and to defeat the forces of disruption threatening human lives,” he said.
Veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said the current tourism boom in Jammu and Kashmir is due to the rising temperature in the rest of the country and not because of any improved situation in the UT. Azad made the assertion, reiterating his stand on the Delimitation Commission report, saying that “the tailor-made report is in contradiction with the ground realities”. He is scheduled to return to Srinagar on Sunday.