New Delhi: Black powdery residue of burnt electronic waste (e-waste) has been removed from the banks of river Ramganga in Moradabad, an important tributary of the Ganges, a report by the Uttar Pradesh government has said.
The report was recently submitted by the state government of Uttar Pradesh before a bench of the National Green Tribunal pursuant to its directions.
The report holds importance as the tribunal had earlier imposed an environment compensation of Rs 10 lakh on the UP government after it was told that a large number of people were involved in unscientific dismantling, crude chemical leaching of printed circuit boards, burning of wires/waste electrical and electronic components, grinding of residues and washing of metal-rich residue on the banks of the Ramganga river.
The UP government, in its progress report, informed the tribunal that e-waste removed from the banks of river Ramganga in Moradabad is being stored safely in a scientific manner at a temporary site.
“The work of disposal of black powder from the banks of the river is divided into two phases first the removal and storage of the black powder in a scientific manner and the second phase comprises permanent disposal of the powder in the proposed Treatment Storage Disposal Facility (TSDF) in Amroha district.
“The first phase of work has been completed and verified by an inter-departmental committee constituted by the district magistrate of Moradabad comprising officers from Nagar Nigam, Rural Engineering Services, Public Works Department, Moradabad Development Authority and UPPCB,” the State government said, adding that the TSDF will also begin functioning soon.
“Environment and public health are one of the prime concerns of the state and the state is working with utmost sincerity towards providing a healthy environment to its citizens,” it said.
Earlier, a committee comprising officials of the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), Moradabad Nagar Nigam, UP Public Works Department and the UP Rural Engineering Services had told the tribunal in a report that the e-waste lying on the banks of the Ramganga river contains hazardous chemicals such as chromium and cadmium.
The committee, formed by the NGT, had said the concentration of metals in the e-waste, which was in the form of black powder, was above the prescribed level.
The report was filed in a petition by scientist Mahendra Pandey, seeking action against illegal processing of electronic waste in Moradabad, Bareilly and Shahjahanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh along the Ramganga river.
The green panel had announced that anyone found dumping electronic waste (e-waste) on the banks of the Ramganga river in Moradabad would have to pay Rs 1 lakh as environment compensation.
The river, which spans a length of 596 km, carries a BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) load of 128 tonnes per day and is polluted by heavy discharge from various industries such as sugar, distillery, pulp and paper, textile and dyeing, it had noted.