By Anil Mathews (ScrapMonster Author)
February 26, 2016 12:26:32 PM
NEW DELHI (Scrap Monster): In what was dubbed as 'shocking' by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed the Tribunal on Thursday that Interpol and Central Bureau of Investigation are probing illegal E-waste recovery units operating on the Delhi-Ghaziabad border. The apex pollution watchdog made this submission during the hearing of a case on hazardous pollution caused by illegal e-waste disposal units located in the National Capital Region (NCR), including areas such as Loni and Mandoli. The petition has been filed by non-profit organization Law for Justice.
The CPCB had inspected the site and found enough evidence of hazardous waste generation from illegal recycling of heavy metals and e-waste. According to union environment ministry's guidelines e-waste has to be handed over only to recycling companies authorised by state pollution control boards. The CPCB report said that the union environment ministry, on the directions of CBI, is looking into the matter. The NGT has listed the matter two weeks later and has said an "urgent order is warranted."
Interpol's Environmental Security Sub-Directorate wrote to the CBI on the matter, as per the CPCB report and requested information on, "reports about e-waste recycling activities in Loni and Mandoli areas situated on the outskirts of Delhi and contamination of soil and groundwater in those areas." CPCB sources did not make it clear why Interpol has asked CBI to look into the matter and they also did not elaborate actions they took against the alleged environmental crimes.
After visiting the illegal units in question the CPCB made damning observations. Their report, reviewed by dna, said that hazardous waste generated from lead furnaces and other recycling operations is being dumped in adjoining open plots and along the roads. These units are spread across Rahul Garden, Behta Hazipur and Amit Vihar near Loni bordering Mandoli, East Delhi. These operations may well be spread in neighbouring areas such as Tila Goan, Govind Tal, Kumahar Colony and Mandoli, CPCB said.
Lamenting on the poor working conditions in the illegal units, the report said, "The working environment in these units are found to be very poor and unhygienic. Workers were found exposed to fumes. The units were using bore wells installed nearby for their daily needs. These units are operating without due permissions from Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board.