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320 sites probably contaminated in the country: Govt


New Delhi: The government has identified 320 sites across the country which are probably contaminated and need to be cleaned up, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, while answering questions on behalf of Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar who was not present, said two programmes, including a World Bank-aided project for Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management (CBIPM), are being implemented for rehabilitation of abandoned sites and dumps in the country.

“Presently, there are 320 sites that have been identified (for cleaning up), but these are probable contaminated sites and nothing is confirmed yet,” said Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs.

Besides CBIPM, a project for rehabilitation of 12 contaminated areas in eight states having multiple sites is being implemented through Central Pollution Control Board at the cost of Rs 805 crore. Forty per cent of the funding comes from National Clean Energy Fund while the remaining 60 per cent are contributions from state governments.

The eight states where the project is being implemented are Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Responding to a query related to electronic waste (e-waste) management, Rijiju said India’s experience in this area is limited. Much more work needs to be done on e-waste management and the issue is being discussed with various stakeholders, he added.

He said that Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 deals with e-waste management in detail.

With regard to a query on whether there are any comprehensive policy to handle e-waste in states like Kerala, he said the state and central governments along with various agencies in place can work together to tackle the issue.

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