Confronted with managing e-waste in Delhi
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The ever-increasing quantity of toxic electronic waste or e-waste has become a serious cause of concern for the 21st century developing state’s hazardous waste management regimes. The developing countries suffer from a double burden of e-waste from domestically generated and imported e-waste from developed nations. This e-waste is recycled under hazardous working conditions by low-wage informal e-waste sector of the developing world in order to recover precious heavy metals. Recognizing the urgency of these conditions that produce a form of environmental injustice, the Indian state has recently framed a new e-waste law to manage e-waste efficiently. This dissertation research examines the regulatory roles of the Indian state apparatus in relation to the roles of the other important constituencies in the e-waste regulatory process. Based on the analysis of the state roles, the study draws connection between state’s roles and structural features. The study also explores how, through the performance of roles, visions of environmental justices in terms of distribution, recognition, and participation emerge among the various constituencies, which among those find reflection in the new e-waste law, and what effects the new e-waste law are likely to have on the future of environmental justice of the e-waste sector. The research demonstrates that the state’ regulatory roles and structure are fluid, plural and subjective and emerge in relation to the roles of the other key stakeholders. It also highlights that different ideas of environmental justice emerge through the performance of roles in the e-waste lawmaking process. Among those environmental justice ideas, only distributive justice ideas find reflection in the e-waste law. In the absence of recognition and participation, or any alternative vision of environmental justice of the affected informal e-waste sector, the study concludes that when fully implemented, the law would reinforce distributive injustices in the affected community.