Visakhapatnam: India is turning into a dumping ground for e-waste from western countries like US, Canada, Australia and European nations.
Despite curbs on import of used electronic goods from Western countries especially laptops, desktops, mobile phones and servers, they are finding their way into India.
While India itself is unable to manage the locally generated e-waste, dumping from the West is adding to the woes of e waste disposal. With the fear of dumping of e-waste by western countries into India, the Centre restricted import from the West though there is no complete ban. Prior permission is needed from MoEF to import these used goods.
Vizag port among other ports in Chennai and Gujarat has emerged as major import point of e-waste into the country. Though, local customs feign ignorance of any import of these used gadgets, traders in Delhi, confirm that, they get these used items from Vizag.
Though India has not ratified the Basel ban, it has ratified Basel convention, an international treaty, on trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste and therefore there are restrictions on e-waste import from the West.
Importers adapt various methods to bring these goods to India, chief programme coordinator, of New Delhi based environmental NGO, Toxics Link, working on issues related to e-waste, Priti Banthia Mahesh said.
Often local importers, hoodwink, customs authorities by changing the consignments of used electronic goods emerging from the West at ports of Asian and Middle East countries.
Since there are no restrictions on import of second hand goods from these countries, they enter India without any hassles.
“There might be some stray incidents of couple of used laptops being brought by individuals from a ship, but there are no instances of e-waste import from western countries on a large scale as such at Vizag port. These used electronic goods imports from western nations need prior permission from MoEF,” joint commissioner at Vizag customs commissionarate, M.S. Reddy, told this correspondent.