States fail to implement e-waste handling rules, says study

New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Most of India's states have failed to implement e-waste rules in the country which came into being in 2011, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study 'E-waste Management in India - Role of State Agencies' by Toxics Link exposes the lack of effort and action by most state pollution control boards and committees.

"The implementing agencies have failed to put any systems in place, even two years after the rules coming into force," the study said.

The union environment ministry has come out with rules to address issues of health and environmental damage caused by improper recycling and disposal of rapidly mushrooming e-waste.

"This deficiency is reflective of lack of application and commitment to improve environmental management in the country and the need for some stringent measures to change this situation," said Ravi Agarwal, director, Toxics Link.

According to the rules, state pollution control boards were required to undertake inventorisation of waste in their respective states but only a couple of states have completed this.

The state pollution control boards and committees are the agencies responsible for monitoring the implementation of E-waste Management and Handling Rules, 2011.

However, with no initiatives to create compliance mechanisms and no action taken against violators, large electronic brands have been continuing to brazenly defy the letter and spirit of the rules.

Management of e-waste is critical in India, owing to its exponential growth and the rudimentary recycling practices prevalent in the unorganized sector.

Studies so far indicate that 8 lakh tonnes of e-waste is generated in India annually, a figure expected to go up 500 times by 2030.

The study also exposes the absence of any public information on most pollution controls boards with as many as 15 of the 35 boards do not even have any information related to e-waste on their websites, their key public interface point.