Director of Health warns of action against hospitals
Despite specific instructions from the Health Department, the menace of dumping bio-medical waste in the open continues unabated in the region. On Tuesday, truckloads of such waste, mixed with normal garbage from the locality, were unloaded and burnt near the Gorimedu truck terminal here, posing serious health hazard to the residents living nearby.
The burning of garbage resulted in a thick layer of smoke that engulfed the area near the dumping site. Residents in the immediate locality, and workers at the factories in the adjoining areas, complained of irritation to the eyes and throat and said that the illegal dumping had been continuing for the past five days.
A similar incident of dumping bio-medical waste in the open occurred recently near the Government General Hospital, when there was a confusion over which was the authorised agency to clear the waste and transport it to the incinerator in Gorimedu. After the incident, the Health Department had warned the hospitals, as well as the municipality, against leaving medical waste in the open.
In the current incident, other regulations pertaining to segregation of medical waste had also been flouted. Bio-medical waste such as used syringes, blood-stained cotton bandages, and used IV tubes with the needles were seen packed in black bags, whereas the rules mandate that they be packed in yellow bags for differentiation from normal hospital waste and taken directly to the incinerator.
Taking serious note of the incident, Director of Health Dilipkumar Baliga said that action would be initiated against hospitals that do not segregate waste according to the guidelines prescribed in the specific Act. He said that the penalty could range from imposition of fine to cancellation of licence, if the violation was of serious nature.
Officials at the Puducherry Pollution Control Committee said that all hospitals have been asked to get into an agreement with the Common Bio-medical Facility at Thuthipet to dispose the waste.
They said that a fine of upto Rs 1 lakh would be imposed and action would be initiated under the Environment Protection Act against erring healthcare centres.
Penalty can range from imposition of fine to cancellation of licence All hospitals told to get into pact with the Common Bio-medical Facility
Penalty can range from imposition of fine to cancellation of licence
All hospitals told to get into pact with the Common Bio-medical Facility