Jeffery, who previously co-authored a book "Cell Phone Nation" on how mobile phones revolutionised business, politics and ordinary life in India, was here to deliver the inaugural chapter of a three-city lecture series organised by industry body Cellular Operators Association of India.

Referring to the power of the cell phone in politics, the author said it played a crucial role in the formation and rise of the Aam Aadmi Party and its leader Arvind Kejriwal who became the Chief Minister of Delhi.

"Mobile phones have been playing an important role in India's ongoing Lok Sabha elections as candidates can have a direct access to his voters through social media networks," he said.

He pointed out that the 2007 victory of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh as the first elections where mobile phones shaped the destiny in the democratic process.

"Disposing off mobile phones or TV sets and the quantity of that kind of waste is growing rapidly every year and there is no effective way to dispose such a waste," Jeffrey said.

The author said that over thirty years the quantity of waste generated in the country had risen dramatically. "I teamed up with a friend and we are going to look into the quantity of garbage generated by Indian cities," Jeffrey said.

The Canadian-born historian is working on a new book on "garbage" with focus on e-waste. The project, he says focuses on historic and comparative study on garbage generated by Indian cities.

"Probably sometime in the mid 1990s people started to get rid of their black and white television sets. So where did the sets go? We have started our research on the project and the manuscript is due at the publishers on July 1, 2016. We are in talks with people, the government and various policy makers in India," the author said.

Their new project, said Jeffrey, took shape when he and a friend Assa Doron were researching the "Cell Phone Nation".

"We saw children trying to boil down mobile phones to extract plastic and metal elements to be recycled so that they could make a living. It is then that we began to get interested in garbage generally," he said.

"I gather there is a very promising project involving rag pickers in Pune where people who were traditionally picking up the best in garbage are now having the opportunity to do that in much more scientific and healthy condition. I think that's one way in which governments and NGOs can play a really important part," the author said.

The author is currently Singapore's Institute of South Asian Studies visiting professor and had worked as a school teacher in the early seventies in Chandigarh.

"Cities like Chennai, Surat, Ahmedabad and Delhi are making progress in giving a thought and doing something about their waste and e-waste management. But I think particularly cities like Surat and Ahmedabad are a little better off than the rest. I have met people in their municipalities in Chennai, some of the smaller ones there are really good local programs which are going on," Jeffrey said.

Apart from e-waste, the author said there is also a general worry among mobile phone users about possible effects of radio frequency radiation on health and about atmospheric pollution form diesel engines it requires to keep 500,000 cell phone towers operating.

"I think this attack has to be made in every Indian city on these mountain volumes of waste" Jeffrey said.