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Tough stand against improper disposal of biomedical waste

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Taking action: Programme director attached to CHAMP Shyamala Mani, Deputy Commissioner K.S. Satyamurthy and programme officer Mamuni Pandit addressing a press conference in Gulbarga on Tuesday.
Taking action: Programme director attached to CHAMP Shyamala Mani, Deputy Commissioner K.S. Satyamurthy and programme officer Mamuni Pandit addressing a press conference in Gulbarga on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

Notices served on 230 institutions in Gulbarga for not using CHAMP’s services

The institutions have been given 15 days to register themselves with CHAMP

Failure to do so will result in cancellation of licences and other measures under the Act

GULBARGA: Scientific disposal of biomedical waste is still a distant dream in Gulbarga, which has more than 450 hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and laboratories. More than 50 per cent of the medical institutions have refused to utilise the services of the Common Healthcare-waste Appropriate Management Plant (CHAMP) established on the outskirts of the city by the Centre for Environment Education (CEE).

The district administration has decided to take tough steps against the medical institutions that are not disposing of biomedical waste scientifically. It has decided to invoke the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 against these institutions.

Provisions of Act

Under the Act, if the administrator of the medical institution is found guilty he may be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine which may extend to Rs. 1 lakh, or both.

If the institution still fails to comply with the rules after the first indictment an additional fine of Rs. 5,000 will be imposed each day. If the contravention continues beyond a year the person shall be punishable with imprisonment extending to seven years with a fine of Rs. 5 lakh.

Deputy Commissioner K.S. Satyamurthy, who is also the chairman of the CHAMP Project Monitoring Committee; Shyamala Mani, programme director attached to CHAMP; and Mamuni Pandit, programme officer, told presspersons here on Tuesday that notices had been served on 230 medical institutions that had refused to use the services of CHAMP.

Dr. Mani said that illegal disposal of biomedical waste would create havoc. “Already a few fresh cases of Hepatitis B, chikungunya and other communicable diseases in Gulbarga have come to our notice. Our worry is that this should not be because of the recycling of the harmful biomedical plastic wastes.”

Dr. Mani said that even medical institutions which were taking the services of CHAMP for disposal of bio-medical waste seldom followed the safety guidelines in segregating the waste.

Instances of infected plastic syringes and plastic disposable bottles landing in the hands of plastic recyclers in Gulbarga city had come to the knowledge of the district administration, he said.

Mr. Satyamurthy said that medical institutions not using the facilities at CHAMP for disposing of biomedical waste had been given 15 days to register themselves with CHAMP. Failure to do so would result in cancellation of their licences and other punitive measures as per the provisions of the Act.

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