According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi presently generates approximately 200,000 tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) each year.

In April 2021, the Delhi government announced its intention to establish the first e-waste park in the country. After more than two years, officials familiar with the matter have reported that the project is now underway.

As per CPCB data, Delhi accumulates a significant amount of e-waste annually, but the city currently lacks a dedicated e-waste park. Consequently, a substantial portion of this e-waste finds its way into landfill sites, waste bins, or the informal sector, where it is often dismantled and recycled in violation of environmental safety regulations.

The e-waste park, slated to cover a 21-acre area in Holambi Kalan, northwest Delhi, will provide a centralized facility for the collection and recycling of e-waste, according to officials.

An unnamed Delhi government official stated, “We have engaged a consultant who has already initiated the process of preparing a comprehensive project report outlining the scope and features of this ambitious project. The project must adhere strictly to the guidelines established by the E-Waste (Management) Rules of 2016. The consultant has been instructed to complete the detailed project report by the end of the year. Work began last week, and we anticipate the consultant will submit the report by year-end.”

E-waste regulations mandate that the state government or an authorized agency ensure the collection of electronic waste through collection centers or points. They are also responsible for recognizing and registering workers involved in dismantling and recycling such items. Furthermore, the government must facilitate the formation of groups of these workers to establish dismantling facilities, offer industrial skill development for these workers, and carry out annual monitoring to ensure their safety and health during the dismantling and recycling processes.

Initially announced in April 2021, the e-waste park project had a deadline for completion set by then-Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal for the end of 2023. However, following a project review in July 2022, Environment Minister Gopal Rai extended the timeline by two more years, aiming for a completion date of July 2024.

In April, it was reported that the Delhi State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIDC) issued a tender for the e-park project in February, which received no takers. Subsequently, the tender had to be reissued in March, and a company was recently engaged to prepare the project report for the park.

According to officials, the construction of the e-park is anticipated to take around 18 months, suggesting that the facility may not be operational until at least 2025.

A DSIIDC official with knowledge of the project explained, “The detailed project report will provide a comprehensive assessment of the project’s feasibility and conceptual plan, including identifying potential issues and risks. After submission, the department will present the final report to the Delhi government for evaluation and approval. Once the plan is approved, work on establishing the e-waste park, as per the prepared plan, will commence.”

In the absence of a dedicated e-waste park, Delhi relies on the city’s sole registered e-waste collection center in Mandoli Industrial Area, northeast Delhi. Additionally, there are six registered e-waste dismantlers located in Okhla, Peeragarhi, and Mandoli, along with two registered e-waste refurbishers in Patparganj and Badarpur, responsible for extracting value from the collected e-waste.

However, a 2018 study by the non-governmental organization Toxics Link identified nearly 5,000 informal e-waste processing units operating in Delhi-NCR, with the majority operating without adhering to proper guidelines or safety norms.

Priti Banthia Mahesh, Chief Programme Coordinator at Toxics Link, noted, “The e-waste park is a positive concept, but its success may depend on its ability to integrate the existing informal sector. It’s crucial to ensure that this sector gains tangible benefits from the e-waste park. For an e-park of this magnitude, economic feasibility may only be achieved if e-waste from other regions of the country is also managed here. Proper monitoring is essential to mitigate potential concerns associated with the open flow of e-waste.”

Environment Minister Gopal Rai affirmed that the consultant has commenced work on the detailed project report for the park. He emphasized the Delhi government’s commitment to disposing of e-waste while adhering to all environmental regulations, in alignment with the broader goal of promoting a cleaner environment. Once the consultant submits the report, a proposal will be presented to the cabinet for consideration.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *