APPCB makes it mandatory to have STPs for safe handling of hospital waste

The two government tertiary hospitals -- Gandhi and Osmania General Hospitals (OGH) -- in the city are set to get a Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) each in the coming days. The proposal comes in the wake of a decision to make STPs mandatory in hospitals by Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) for safe handling of hospital waste.

The authorities will be spending close to Rs. 4 crore to set up the STPs on the campuses of Gandhi Hospital and OGH. A piece of open land next to the Gandhi Hospital mortuary has been identified for the purpose, hospital authorities said.

The decision to set up a STP was taken in a meeting held recently between health officials and vice-chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Marri Shashidhar Reddy. “The government has in principal accepted the proposal to set up the STPs at Gandhi and OGH. We are hoping that the project to takes off quickly,” says Superintendant, Gandhi Hospital, S.M. Mahaboob.

A few months ago, APPCB authorities, who had conducted inspections at Gandhi Hospital, had criticised the lack of safe biomedical waste disposable practices. After the inspection, APPCB had reported serious lapses in handling biomedical waste and hospital waste water.

No segregation

The PCB authorities had observed that there was no segregation between solid, liquid and chemical biomedical wastes at Gandhi and OGH. Hospital waste water, needles and other hazardous wastes were simply getting diverted into a public drain, which was dangerous, PCB officials had said during their inspections.

The PCB scientists had explained that antibiotics, psychotropic substances and other drugs are consumed by patients in the hospital. Not all the drugs are ingested fully and they are excreted and find their way into the drainage.

Such drugs are not biodegradable, which means they can’t be decomposed by the bacteria or any other living organisms. And hence, they have to be treated first in an STP before draining the water into public sewers. “The paper work related to the project is complete. The project should start at the earliest,” Dr. Mahaboob said.

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