‘Repair clinics’ for electronic goods damaged in floods

Equipment to be tested by experts ; 100-member team coming from Hyderabad

Flood-hit families in Ernakulam worried about damaged laptops and television sets have something to cheer about.

The government is planning to hold special repair clinics to restart damaged electronic goods free of cost in flood-hit regions. Damaged laptops, desktops, television sets, mobiles, printers, etc., will be tested by expert technicians pooled in by the government agencies involved in the scientific collection, disposal and processing of the heaps of e-waste that has emerged after the deluge.

“We would like to inform the public that they need not dump the damaged electronic goods in haste by either giving them to unauthorised vendors or by clearing them along with other waste. They could bring these electronic goods to the proposed camps and get them checked by trained professionals,” said Sujith Karun, district co-ordinator of Haritha Keralam Mission.

A 100-member team, comprising electricians and plumbers from Hyderabad will soon reach Ernakulam to carry out various repair work in flood-hit homes. “This group has people who are trained in repairing damaged television sets,” said Mr. Sujith. At the electronic goods repair camps, the government agencies will collect e-waste that could not be repaired for safe disposal.

Kabeer Haroon, president-operations at GJ Eco Power Private Limited, the private partner in the waste-to-energy project of the Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram, said the government-level campaign would help in checking unauthorised vendors, who were likely to dump e-waste in public places after removing the small quantities of gold and platinum in motherboard pins in various gadgets. “Unscientific disposal of e-waste will lead to further pollution of the natural resources,” he said.

K. Thulasi, president of the Kerala Grama Panchayat Association, said that about 400 tonnes of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste from various wards in Kalady panchayat were collected, stored and transported safely to recycling centres as part of the clean-up post-floods.

Abdul Rasheed, secretary of the Ernakulam wing of the Kerala Scrap Merchants’ Association, said they had joined hands with the government agencies to remove 1,200 tonnes of non-biodegradable materials and e-waste piled up in various flood-affected regions across the State.

“Of this, nearly 45 tonnes were collected from Ernakulam. These include discarded mattresses, clothes, and plastic products. We are not participating in the drive to earn returns alone, but as a voluntary act in these tough times,” he said.

Mr. Rasheed urged the local bodies not to mix organic and inorganic waste as it would hamper the collection and disposal process.

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