The Centre on Tuesday proposed draft rules on battery waste management directing manufacturers and importers to ensure that used batteries are collected back against the new ones they sell and environment is not harmed during their transportation.

In its draft notification, Battery Waste Management Rules 2020, the Ministry of Environment has given 60 days to public to make objection or suggestion to the rules after which the government will bring the notification into effect.

There are four chapters in the notification which are divided into eight rules.

The rules fix the responsibilities of manufacturer, importer, assembler and re-conditioner.

"It shall be the responsibility of a manufacturer, importer, assembler and re- conditioner to ensure that the used batteries are collected back as per the schedule against new batteries sold excluding those sold to original equipment manufacturer and bulk consumer(s)," the ministry notification said.

It shall be their responsibility to "ensure that used batteries collected back are of similar type and specifications as that of the new batteries sold, it said, adding that collection centres must set up by them either individually or jointly at various places for collection of used batteries from consumers or dealers.

"They must ensure that used batteries collected are sent only to the registered recyclers. Ensure that necessary arrangements are made with dealers for safe transportation from collection centres to the premises of registered recyclers. Ensure that no damage to the environment occurs during transportation of used batteries and no acid should be drained in case of used lead acid batteries," the rules said.

The notification also says the manufacturers and others responsible must create public awareness through advertisements, publications, posters or by other means with regard to hazards of Lead, Cadmium and Mercury; obligation of consumers to return their used batteries only to the dealers or deliver at collection centres and instructions for handling and disposal of the equipment after its use.

As per the rules, 'battery' or 'accumulator' means any source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and includes disposable primary batteries or rechargeable secondary ones.

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