E-waste burning: NGT orders inspection of Ganga floodplains
The National Green Tribunal has directed inspection of Ganga flood plains to probe dumping and burning of waste after a plea alleged illegal processing of electronic waste on the banks of Ramganga in western UP.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed officials from the Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state pollution control board to jointly inspect the area and submit a report before March 24.
“In the meanwhile, the joint inspection team of CPCB, UPPCB and Ministry of Environment and Forests would submit a report before the tribunal which will report amongst others whether direction issued under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by CPCB have been complied within its entire spirit or not and what is the status of pollutant being dumped and burning on the flood plain of Ganga as well as the status of the illegal industries,” the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by scientist Mahendra Pandey seeking action against illegal processing of electronic waste in Moradabad, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh along river Ramganga, an important tributary of the Ganges.
“Large number of people are involved in unscientific dismantling, crude chemical leaching of printed circuit boards, burning of wires/waste electrical and electronic components, grinding of residues, washing of metal rich residue (milled black powder) on the banks of Ramganga,” the plea, filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, had said.
Referring to various studies, the petitioner had said that copper levels were five times higher in five different soil samples collected near Ramganga, while chromium level was twice the Canadian standard and cadmium was 1.3 times.
The results were similar for water samples taken from the river where mercury levels were found to be eight times higher, which also had traces of arsenic, it had said.
The plea had sought setting up a monitoring committee to ensure prohibition of illegal electronic waste processing along the river and placing on record all relevant material and documents relating to the steps taking by authorities to prevent the pollution in the river.
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