India is piling up mountains of electronic rubbish as consumers snap up the latest gizmos and firms upgrade PC systems.Manufacturers are introducing new models of mobile phones, televisions and computers to entice cashed-up consumers to upgrade, with no policies or infrastructure in place to recycle toxic electronic scrap. By 2011, the world's second-most populous nation will generate 470 000 tonnes of "e-waste", up from 330 000 tonnes this year, the Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology said in a study received here Friday. "The situation could assume alarming proportions and therefore it is high time we pay serious attention to the issue," said Vinnie Mehta, who heads the association, or MAIT, said. The figure for electronic waste generated this year is more than twice the previous official estimate. India also "imports" an estimated 50 000 tonnes of e-waste such as obsolete televisions and mobiles. Environmentalists say the figure could be higher because the survey does not take into account villages where two-thirds of India's 1.1 billion people live .People are discarding their electronics, toxic garbage is going to be a big crisis," said Ramapati Kumar, a campaigner for the environmental group Greenpeace, in Bangalore.
"The problem is that it releases toxic chemicals — people burn electronic items to recover valuable materials, impacting health and environment," Kumar said.