Government addresses lithium-ion battery waste dumping, says Gadkari.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday assured the Rajya Sabha that the government will take seriously any report indicating adverse environmental impacts of dumping lithium-ion battery waste. He stressed the government's commitment to promote a circular economy by recycling various waste materials. During Question Hour, Congress member Ranjit Ranjan raised concerns about the adverse effects of lithium-ion battery waste on the environment and workers in manufacturing units.

Responding to Ranjan's supplementary question, Gadkari said that, to the best of his knowledge, no such report or findings were available. However, they assured that if any such information comes to their attention, they will take it seriously and explore recycling solutions for lithium-ion battery waste. Gadkari highlighted the government's focus on future technology, vision and planning in this regard.

Gadkari also shared the government's aspirations for India to become a leading country in the export of electric cars, buses and trucks within the next five years. He also mentioned the Union Finance Minister's emphasis on circular economy by citing examples like car scrapping, rubber recycling with bitumen and use of plastic in road construction in the budget speech.

The Minister informed the House about the government's efforts to utilize municipal solid waste in road construction to protect the ecology and environment. He drew attention to the high annual import of fossil fuels worth more than Rs 16 lakh crore and acknowledged the level of pollution in Delhi.

Describing the advancements in battery technology, Gadkari mentioned the ongoing work on aluminum steel ion batteries and aluminum air technology. He highlighted the falling cost of lithium-ion batteries and noted a reduction from US$150 to US$115 per kWh. Acknowledging the existing cost disparity between electric vehicles and conventional vehicles, he expressed hope that with increasing volumes, the costs will equalize within the next one and a half years.


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