NGT orders to form SoP for reducing pollution at all govt. district hospitals 

The NGT was hearing a petition about alleged failure of authorities to control air pollution in and around premier healthcare institutions to the detriment of health of patients, their attendants, doctors and staff.

Published - July 04, 2023 09:15 pm IST - New Delhi

  The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a five-member committee, headed by the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Health, to form a standard operating procedure (SoP) for environmental management inside and around all government district hospitals and hospitals larger than such district hospitals, including medical colleges, within three months.  “The committee may specify issues to be covered within the complex and outside the boundary of the healthcare facility complex upto specified periphery for regulation and control of polluting activities which may be found necessary to offset adverse impact on environment,” an NGT order dated July 3 read.  The green court also ordered measures such as multilevel parking, management of traffic, controlling air pollution etc. to be taken specifically for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, which were recommended by another committee.  The NGT was hearing a petition about alleged failure of authorities to control air pollution in and around premier healthcare institutions to the detriment of health of patients, their attendants, doctors and staff. The petitioner had pointed out that in AIIMS, Delhi, there were sources of pollution inside as well as outside the campus, which needed to be adequately addressed.

Solutions suggested

The NGT on March 17 constituted the committee, which submitted its report on July 1, which identified different issues and gave both short-term and long-term solutions. The solutions included lifting of garbage every day, following dust control measures, and development of green belt around the AIIMS campus.  “With regard to measures required to be adopted outside the AIIMS campus, such as control of traffic congestion, removing encroachments, congestion at gates, speeding of vehicles, improving road conditions, control of dust and other sources of pollution, we constitute an eight-member joint Committee of Traffic Police, NDMC, PWD, DDA, Delhi Police, AIIMS, CPCB and DPCC to prepare an action plan in the light of recommendations of the joint committee and to monitor its execution in a time-bound manner,” the order said.  

‘Monitor air quality’

The order also said that ambient air quality in and around the campus be monitored. “As and when it exceeds the laid down parameters within 500 meters of the boundaries of AIIMS, regulatory measures be taken in the light of Graded Response Action Plan-1 (GRAP),” the NGT said.   Such an action plan has to be prepared preferably by July 31, according to the order. For the SoP, the order said that the committee will be free to interact with stakeholders and obtain data of status of availability of environment management plans covering all sources of pollution in and around all government district hospitals and hospital bigger than district hospitals. “Environmental management inside and around such healthcare appears to be necessary in the interest of protection of right of patients, staff and other visitors to clean environment... Appropriate SoP may be finalised within three months and placed on the website of the Ministry of Health,” the order said. 

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