Those dumping medical waste into lakes must be dealt with seriously, says National Green Tribunal

A view of Puzhal Lake. Photograph used for representational purposes only

A view of Puzhal Lake. Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

The NGT has directed the TN Pollution Contol Board to check if pharma companies are strictly following the rules for disposing of biomedical waste, in a case relating to the dumping of waste in the Puzhal Lake in 2017

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to ascertain whether pharma companies are strictly following the disposal of biomedical waste rules, and has directed it to submit a current status report of the Puzhal Lake in a case relating to dumping of medical waste in the lake in 2017.

“Dumping of medical waste in a water body is a serious offence, affecting the health of the people. Such things will not be allowed to continue. Persons responsible for the same must be dealt with seriously and they must be liable to pay environmental compensation as well and that compensation must be deterrent in nature and also non profitable to industry so as to deter from committing such mischiefs in future,” the Bench said.

The Bench of Justice K. Ramakrishnan and judicial member Saibal Dasgupta said it must be a message to others to comply with the Rules scrupulously, prevent pollution and provide a clean and green environment, thereby making the polluters understand their fundamental duty enshrined in Article 51 A of the Constitution of India.

The Bench directed the TNPCB to also find out if the pharma companies have the necessary consent to operate under the Air and Water Act.

“If they are do not have such consent, then as directed by this Tribunal, they are at liberty to take action against those persons who are running such units without necessary consent and conditions and submit a report immediately regarding the same to this Tribunal,” the Bench said.

The Bench said the TNPCB was at liberty to constitute any expert committee for assessing the compensation, if the dumping of medical waste had resulted in deterioration of soil and water and also specify remedial measures to be taken by them to restore the same to its original position. It also asked the Board to submit before the Tribunal regarding the status of prosecution launched against the violatore.

The case relates to dumping of medical waste into the Puzhal Lake in 2017. It was said that sewage was being discharged into the lake through storm water drains without treating it. The Bench took up the matter suo moto based on a report that medical waste, including medicines and tablets of which expiry period was over and biomedical waste from various hospitals in the city and suburbs were being dumped at the Thirumullaivoyal side of the lake in tonnes by some miscreants.

“As a result, serious damage has been caused and water is being polluted and the people using this water are getting affected with various diseases that is being spread in the area. Though this was brought to the notice of the authorities, no action has been taken,” it said.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:35:08 AM |

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