Highlighted a socio-economic part of it, he said, “An electronic gadget which we throw away gets reused by others. The practice has become so common that it generates a means of livelihood for many people.”
To know more about the scenario, this citizen journalist talked to people who have studied the issue and are connected with e-waste management. Lena Buddhe, Director of Centre for Sustainable Development, shared some interesting facts about e-waste management of the city. She conducted a survey and observed a socio-economic angle. “I found that there are many people whose livelihood depends on the business of e-waste. Mominpura situated in eastern part of the city has a special set up for segregating metal parts of electronic waste. However, methods used to separate metal parts are often not eco-friendly. The e-waste generated thus is resold, thus directly increases life of e-waste,” Buddhe said.
Not only Mominpura, but Chor Bazar also near Gandhisagar Mahal - the oldest and probably the first market of second-hand goods in the city - also plays an important role. Buddhe said: “You will find almost all electronic gadgets at Chor Bazar, right from parts of Apple Company to China-made models. Here, DVD players, mobiles, TV sets, radio, mobile, car and mobile batteries are also available at rates much less than the market rates.”
To get a clearer picture of the socio-economic angle to it, a visit to city’s Chor Bazar was necessary. Abdul Bhai and Mukesh Singh, who sell electronic items at Chor Bazar, when asked about response to their second-hand products they said: “They are in great demand. We earn Rs. 15,000 or more a month, depending on the market.”
A look around and one found a bevy of youngsters flocking the market. A buyer, Sumit Kanerkar, said, “I like visiting this place as I get mobiles and batteries at very low price. This is a better option when I intend to use the product for a limited period only.”
Ashish Khadatkar and Abhishek Choure, who were looking for some parts of computer and mixer grinder, echoed similar views. Vikky Bahe said: “I was introduced to this place by my father and I have been visiting the market for cheaper alternative to electronic items since then.” Prasad Sakharkar was buying some parts in bulk for his computer and mobile shop. “I can afford only this much investment for my small business,” he said.
Talking about the legalities in this process, Navneet Agrawal, who started e-waste collection a couple of years ago, and had to shut down his venture due to unclear norms of e- waste management, said: “My main problem was Octroi. Even though I used to carry e-waste I had to pay Octroi duty fixed for electronic goods and it was impractical to pay such a huge amount for waste. There are no fixed norms and their implementation too is hazy. Authorities should take action in favour of people like me soon. It is high time now.”
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