Govt’s draft on battery waste management ready

| | New Delhi
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Govt’s draft on battery waste management ready

Friday, 28 February 2020 | PNS | New Delhi

As demand for environment-friendly battery-operated vehicles is all set to rise in the near future in India as a measure to cut down carbon footprints, the NDA Government has prepared draft rules for battery waste management that will make it mandatory for manufacturers and dealers to collect used batteries against the new ones they sell.

The proposed draft rules the 'Battery Waste Management Rules 2020' brings under its ambit all kind of batteries such as . The notification was issued by the Union Environment Ministry recently which has uploaded it on its website, seeking objection and suggestions from the stakeholders.

The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001, had mentioned only lead-acid batteries.

The draft rules put the responsibility of collection of batteries and their safe transport to the recyclers on the manufacturers and dealers. They will need to ensure that used batteries are sent only to the registered recyclers and that environment is not harmed during their transportation, as per the notification.

Under the new rules, battery dealers will have to issue purchase invoices (when they collect used batteries). Earlier, dealers were obliged to register with the state pollution control boards, but there was no mention of issuing purchase invoice for old batteries.

According to various reports, an estimated 2.7 billion pieces of dry cell batteries are consumed annually in India, but there is no collection mechanism to ensure that these batteries are safely transported to recyclers. Unsafe disposal of batteries can cause harmful metals like mercury and cadmium to leak out and enter the soil and water.

Discarded batteries, meanwhile, can be a valuable resource to recover highly useful metals in an environmentally-friendly manner.

However, these regulations will not be applicable on batteries used in equipment connected with the protection of the essential security interests such as arms, ammunitions and war material, and intended specifically for military purposes; equipment designed to be sent into space (space exploration), emergency and alarm systems, emergency lighting and medical equipment.

As per Kenneth Research, the Indian electric vehicle infrastructure market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CARG) of over 40 per cent during a forecast period 2019-2025.

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