Shimla: Disappointed to see your costly CFL bulb getting fused? Cheer up if you are living in Himachal Pradesh as the state government has decided to buy these fused CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) bulbs. The bulbs contain mercury which can be reused by the CFL manufacturing units and can be a viable solution to the problem of dumping them.  Dumping the CFL leads to discharge of mercury in soil and water which is extremely hazardous for health and environment.

A meeting in this context was held at the Himachal Pradesh Secretariat under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary (Environment) Sudrapt Rai and was attended by CFL manufacturers on Friday.

Though the government has not yet arrived on a conclusion regarding safe scientific management of mercury but the possibilities are being searched on whether it should be dumped in solid waste management or the government must buy these fused lamps at a minimum price and sell it to the lamp manufacturing units for recycling.

It is to be noted, there is no scientific disposal of mercury at present, leading to water and soil pollution, consumption of which can be cancerous.

Just after its coming to power, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government encouraged use of energy efficient CFL bulbs in the state under the Atal Bijili Bachat Yojna and distributed free CFL bulbs to every house in the state. The government had spent Rs 70 crore on distributing 64 lakh CFL bulbs under the programme. It was claimed that the state saved power worth Rs 110 crore under the programme. But after two years, when the bulbs fused, the government has been thinking of reusing the mercury.

According to the scientists, a CFL bulb contains 5 milligrams of mercury and some lead.
Meanwhile, the junkyards buy the fused CFL bulbs and sell them to the companies.