ROURKELA: THE demand to legalise the flourishing metal scrap trade has gained momentum with Rourkela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) raking up the issue again.
The trade body has also demanded a centralised location from where such trade can be carried out to ensure effective monitoring, employment generation, revenue augmentation and address waste pollution.
Former president of RCCI B M Agarwal said there is an urgent need to organise scrap metal collection and its disposal from a centralised location. He said scrap traders should be registered to ensure 18 per cent GST collection.
Agarwal said in the absence of authorised sources, the local metal-based industries that require scrap as raw materials are viewed with suspicion. He said legalisation of the trade would also relieve police from time-consuming procedures of arrest and seizures and break the unholy nexus among unscrupulous law enforcement officials and scrap traders.
Recycling of scrap metals sourced from legal or illegal means remains a necessity for metal-consuming industries. Sources said Rourkela is a hub of industrial activities amid presence of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) and numerous metal-based MSMEs in and around it.
Massive amount of ferrous scrap metals, including mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, wrought iron and non-ferrous scrap metals, including aluminium, brass, copper, nickel, tin, lead and zinc get generated naturally. Besides, scrap metals get sourced from households, garages, construction sites and dumping sites of industries. But there is no mechanism to prove the genuineness of the collected materials.
Recently, a delegation of the Scrap Dealers’ Charitable Trust (SDCT) had reminded Rourkela Municipal Corporation Commissioner Rashmita Panda to expedite the matter which was kept pending due to the General Elections 2019.
SDCT president Ramesh Chandra Bal said about 600 poor families earn their livelihood by collecting scrap metals and plastic waste. He said as the scrap metal procurement process has not been systematised, police often seize vehicles carrying scrap and harass the scrap dealers with detention or arrest.
He said earlier, the city administration had showed keenness towards the proposal and RSP also agreed in principle to provide land to set up an authorised metal scrap yard/junk yard.
Livelihood for 3,000 slum-dwellers
About 3,000 slum-dwellers, including women and children of Deogaon and adjoining areas, eke out a living by illegally collecting scrap metals from the slag dumping yards of RSP
Scrap metal procurement process has not been systematised
Police seize vehicles carrying scrap and harass the scrap dealers with detention or arrest