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Shimla, Dec 11 Worried over the environmental hazard posed by discarded and fluorescent lamps, the Himachal Pradesh government is working on a policy to make firms manufacturing and trading in them to buy back used lamps from consumers for their safe disposal.

The firms have been told to put in place a policy by Dec 27 to buy back used lamps from consumers.

“We are trying to develop a policy for safe disposal of discarded CFLs as they contain toxic mercury and, of course, they are a waste management challenge,” Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment) Sudipto Roy told IANS.

He said with obsolete CFLs and fluorescent tubes finding their way into the municipal waste, there is a threat of entry of carcinogenic chemicals into the soil, water and air.

The government Friday held talks with CFL manufacturers and traders for framing guidelines in this regard.

As per government estimates, there are over one million CFLs in use in the state and the volume is increasing every year.

As part of an energy saving drive, the state launched the Atal Bijli Bachat Yojana in November 2008 in which a pack of four CFLs – two each of 15 watt and 20 watt – were provided to 1.65 million consumers free of cost.

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