Environmental watchdog Greenpeace has staged a demonstration here demanding complete ban on import of discarded computers.
The activists, dressed up in white overalls and wearing safety masks, stood in front of the Union Commerce Ministry with discarded computers and held banners in a bid to remind the country of harmful effects of e-waste on the environment.
According to a research report by International Resource Group (IRG), India generates about 146,000 tonnes of e-waste every year and with demand of computers growing at an alarming rate, the country's domestic e-waste is expected to touch 1,600,000 tonnes by 2012.
According to a Supreme Court order of 1997, import of hazardous waste in India for disposal is banned. However, toxic electronic waste still finds its way into the country in the garb of charity or re-useable material.
The activists demanded the Ministry to put a complete ban to such imports to safeguard the environment.
"Our records show that in last six-months around 600 tonnes of e-waste has entered into our country. It is a major problem that should immediately be tackled. It is the duty of Ministry of Commerce to ban e-waste and its entry into India," said Ashish Fernandes, an activist.
Hazardous e-waste releases harmful chemicals like lead, cadmium and mercury in the environment. In India, e-waste management assumes greater significance not only due to generation of waste but also dumping by the developed countries.