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Rs. 3.5 billion project approved to clear hazardous waste dump sites

Written By Gopal Krishna on Thursday, April 01, 2010 | 8:54 PM

New Delhi, Mar 20 : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Rs. 3.5 billion to clean up eight hazardous waste dump sites in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

Eighty five percent of the funds will be from the World Bank, while the Union and state Governments will bear the remaining 15 percent.

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said that funds would be introduced for the treatment of e-wastes.

"We will be now also funding the establishment of e-waste facilities. E-waste treatment facilities, e-waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities. This I believe is the first major step that the country has taken to clean up contaminated sights,' Ramesh said.

"These are public hazards and by taking up these sights for remediation and rehabilitation I believe we will be contributing to the clean up of the environment,' he added.

India generates around 6.2 million tonnes of hazardous waste annually of which roughly 3.5 million tonnes are recyclable.

The Environment and Forest Ministry is actively pursuing enhanced allocations for setting up additional treatment, storage and disposal facilities to meet the capacity gap of the rest 2.7 millions.

Ramesh further spoke about the relocation of families from the tiger reserves.

Out of 80,000 families to be relocated from tiger reserves, only 3,000 have been relocated so far.

He said that it is not necessary that families only from tiger reserve areas would be relocated, but the government will support any voluntary relocation of families from any protected area.

"The relocation would not be only in tiger reserves, it is a general perception that we are relocating families only from the core and the buffer of the tiger reserves,' Ramesh said.

"The government of India will support any voluntary relocation of families from any protected area, whether it's a tiger area or not it doesn't matter and the same compensation package of 1 million rupees would be applicable to any family who would like to move from a protected area,' he added.

India is a key player in efforts to boost the global tiger population, which numbers just a few thousand which certain wildlife experts say could be extinct in another two decades.

India, which is the abode to world's half number of tigers, has reported 11 deaths over the last two months due to various reasons including poaching and poisoning.

--ANI
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