The Coimbatore City Police have arrested two persons – both drivers – on the charge of attempting to dump medical waste at the Coimbatore Corporation’s dump yard in Vellalore.
According to the police, the Podanur police have arrested Silambarasan and Kumaran under Section 284 of the Indian Penal Code based on a complaint a Corporation engineer preferred.
The police said that they had by Friday evening remanded the two drivers in judicial custody.
According to the Corporation officials, the drivers were found carrying around half-a-tonne waste each in used cement bags on two tractors, which have been impounded.
The bags contained used syringes, cotton, gloves, vials, ampoules and other surgical waste.
The residents of the area first spotted the waste near the dump yard entrance and then alerted the officials who were inside the waste yard, at the office there.
Though the drivers did not reveal the origin of the waste, inquiries revealed that the waste could have come from a medical waste or plastic waste recycling unit near Ukkadam.
The owner of the unit could have disposed of the waste that could not be recycled.
The sources also said that the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control has taken possession of the waste for examination and disposal.
The TNPCB engineers are seized of the issue and they are exploring ways to safely dispose of the waste, says P. Asokan, District Environment Engineer, Coimbatore.
The medical fraternity here has said that the waste is “definitely not from Coimbatore.”
All the hospitals in the city and district have tied-up with the medical waste management firm, which incinerates the waste at its facility on the outskirts.
All the hospitals have been doing so for the past 10 or more years and there is no need for them to dispose of the waste in such a cavalier fashion, says L.P. Thangavelu, president, Indian Medical Association-Tamil Nadu.
He adds that the waste is from outside the district and that the recycler cannot have sourced the waste from a city hospital.