The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, has specified a list of do’s and don’ts to be followed, both in the construction and operation phase of the proposed super-specialty hospital, while upholding the environmental clearance granted to convert the Secretariat building into a medical institution.

Disposing of an appeal against the environmental clearance, the Tribunal has asked the government to obtain from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board “Consent for Establishment.” The detailed order has made key points to ensure that environmental quality is maintained while providing super-specialty care.

The Bench, comprising Justices M. Chockalingam and R.Nagendran, has specified that a “Specialty-wise Action Plan” be prepared to control and mitigate environmental impact and provide safeguards.

It should be ensured that indoor environmental conditions do not spread infection across units.

Hospital hygiene, waste management and environmental protection measures set in place in other multi-specialty hospitals, such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Apollo Group of Hospitals, Chennai, must be followed, the Tribunal said.

It has asked for a specialty-wise human resource training manual to ensure compliance with stipulated conditions. All requirements of the Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling, and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2010, and E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, must be fulfilled and special care taken in mercury management.

When dealing with radiation-related material in treatment procedures, regulations specified by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board must be in place.

Only battery vehicles

Vehicles operated inside the campus to shift staff should only be battery-operated. Traffic congestion near entry and exit points from the road adjoining the site should be avoided and parking fully internalised. No public space can be cornered for parking requirements of the hospital.

The hospital area must be declared a “no horn zone” with necessary sign boards. No vehicle shall be permitted within 100 m of the silence zone of the hospital and a green belt should be provided along the periphery to attenuate the noise to conform to TNPCB standards.

Solar energy

Solar energy must be used for illumination of common areas. A hybrid system or a complete solar system for a portion of the buildings should be provided.

Conditions during construction must make provisions for regulating noise levels, air pollution, safe water and proper sanitation facilities for workers, fire safety regulations and proper sewage/waste treatment.