The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to submit an action plan within three months on management of electronic waste, PTI reported.

A bench headed by tribunal chairperson Justice AK Goel said scientific disposal of e-waste is an important factor for protecting the environment. The bench was disposing a plea filed by one Shailesh Singh against the unauthorised “recycling, collection, dismantling, burning, selling” of e-waste and other solid waste on the road side or river banks.

“Proper disposal of e-waste is undoubtedly an important issue,” the bench said. “We consider it necessary to direct the MoEF [Ministry of Environment and Forests], UP [Uttar Pradesh] Pollution Control Board and the Central Pollution Control Board to look into the matter and prepare an action plan for enforcement of the rules as well as taking appropriate action against those violating the said rules.”

Singh’s plea claimed that burning e-waste and other solid waste contaminates groundwater, pollutes air and leads to soil acidification. The plea said electronic waste accounts for 40% lead and 70% of all heavy metals found in landfills.

Singh had also written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board seeking action for adherence to e-waste rules and guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board.

In May, the Delhi High Court directed the ministry to give time-bound deadlines of their plan for dealing with e-waste, reported Down To Earth.