A big role

DQW Bureau
New Update


Few months back I had written in this column that the day might not be far

when the Government of our country will come up with strong legislations that

are aimed at curtailing e-wastage and traditional energy consumption. I still

think that day is not very far away.

Ever since the Ministry of Environment and Forests has indicated that the

e-waste laws would also involve the IT distribution channel, there has been some

opposition to it. I fully agree that no law should be made that unduly impacts

parties not involved. Also, it is a fact that the IT channel community, has a

big role in distribution of IT products, therefore they can play a big role

controlling e-waste too.

If channel partners believe that doing something about e-waste and the

impending global disasters that it will cause, is only the responsibility of

motherboard, monitor and ink manufacturers, they are sadly mistaken. The entire

home users, and the small office users, can actually be beautifully guided by

the IT channel partners from whom they buy their products, in terms of what can

be done to avoid e-waste. I would not mind a law which forces customer education

on e-waste hazards and management at the 'Point of Sale'. Let the partners force

their vendors to support it whichever way required.


As the IT market is growing, the amount of e-waste generated is also shooting

up. There have been several reports on how some of this is handled in very

poorly-managed garages and junk yards. Have the partners in Nehru Place and

Lamington Road forgotten about the Mayapuri tragedy in Delhi? Just to remind

them, that it was when scientists and professors from Delhi University did not

know how to dispose off an old gamma irradiation machine, the radio active

material of which, killed one and maimed many. What if something similar

(obviously of a far less potent) builds up and hits out in their neighborhood.

Moving from e-waste to green IT, again channels can play a role, and if not

today, then very soon we will need laws. If the vendors are really serious about

energy saving and e-waste, there should be some green solutions sales target for

each channel partner. Green solutions ensure maximum energy efficiency and

minimal environmental impact. This can be worked out for large installations,

where millions of rupees and thousands of megawatts of energy can be saved. And

more importantly, this will lead to a significant reduction in the speed at

which the earth's atmosphere is warming up. Two years back there was so much of

hullabaloo about Green-today everybody seems to have forgotten about it. I would

not mind a government law that encourages it, or if required, forces it.

I think this is the time to join hands with the Government, the vendors, as

well as users to work out ways and means to manage it. I would be very happy if

the partners can work out some guidelines and plans that eliminate e-waste,

before they oppose the Government's proposed law. Channel associations must take

this up actively, for instance, ask vendors for products that reduce energy

consumption, and encourage customers to deploy green solutions. And they must

ask for government incentives for these initiatives. Channels can and must

contribute in making mother earth a better place to live in.

Ibrahim ahmad