SUBJECT :Waste Management 

 The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today directed hospitals in Uttarakhand to ensure proper collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical and solid waste in the state. It said any violation would lead to imposition of environmental compensation of Rs 50,000.

The green panel directed the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board to file a list of various hospitals in the state and submit a complete and comprehensive status report on the steps taken for disposal of medical waste in two weeks.

“The state government shall impose an environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 on hospitals which do not have complete mechanism for proper collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical waste,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The direction came after advocate MC Mehta, who has filed the petition for cleaning of Ganga, said that there had only been 10 per cent compliance with the NGT direction. He said the hospitals in Haridwar didn’t have proper site for disposal of waste.

He alleged that the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board had not taken effective steps to ensure compliance of the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 and proper disposal of bio-medical waste.

The bench noted that there were 708 hospitals in Uttarakhand, however, there were only two private companies in Udham Singh Nagar and Roorkee which deal with bio-medical and other hazardous waste.

These firms were collecting medical waste from government and private hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare centres, but they were not sufficient to treat the entire waste generated by the state, it noted.

The NGT had earlier said that any medical, bio medical or other waste shouldn’t be thrown into Ganga and if any hospital is found doing so, authorities would recover Rs 20,000 per violation from them.

It had directed the state government to construct at least two more bio-medical waste and hazardous waste plants to meet the requirement of hospitals in the state.

“These plants would be established at safe sites and away from beyond 1,000 meters from the river/flood plain of the river Ganga. These plants would be established and made operative in accordance with law,” it had said. — PTI

Source: The Tribune, Chandigarh