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UNIDO signs a US $ 14.5 million project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the phase-out of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in India.

On February 4, 2010, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) signed a US $ 14.5 million project with the government of India on phasing out polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The project, which is part of the post- national implementation plan activities for the reduction and elimination Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in India under the Stockholm Convention, was signed by the Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella, in the presence of the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Vijai Sharma, the GEF Operational Focal Point in India and Joint Secretary, Hem Pande, and the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest, on behalf of Government of India, Rajiv Gauba.

The objective of the new project is to reduce or eliminate the use and release of PCBs into the environment through the disposal of PCB-containing equipments, and related waste in three pilot projects for the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of PCBs in India, catering to the needs of 12 states.

The project aims at the development and implementation of an ESM system for PCBs and the development of an action plan for their timely phase-out  from the use and final disposal of PCB-containing equipment and related wastes. It is to be implemented by Ministry of Environment and Forest in collaboration with UNIDO.

The Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), which is the only specialized national institution on PCB management and research with the required infrastructure and trained manpower, has also been involved in the preparations.