Plea to monitor biomedical waste management

350 city hospitals lack PCB authorisation to handle bio-medical waste

Around 350 hospitals and nursing homes in the city do not have authorisation from Pollution Control Board (PCB) to handle or dispose of biomedical waste, contributing to apprehensions that they might be following improper methods to dispose of the waste, thereby posing health risk to people.

Secretary of Forum for Good Governance, M. Padmanabha Reddy, who got the information as response to a Right to Information (RTI) application, said that the 350 Health Care Facilities (HCFs) include government as well as private hospitals.

On Saturday, he submitted a representation to the office of Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, requesting to direct the State government to take action over the issue.

The Forum members, who analysed data collected through RTI applications, stated that there are a total of 4,200 HCFs in the State, of which about 1,500 are located in Hyderabad and surrounding localities. “About 350 HCFs are operating without taking authorisation under Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules from PCB,” stated the representation submitted to the Governor’s office.

The Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, details how biomedical waste has to be segregated, packed, transported and stored. Section 6 (1) of the rules states that bio-medical waste shall not be mixed with other waste.

Around 11 common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facilities were approved in the State. “In view of the cost involved in scientific disposal, very few HCFs are segregating and sending biomedical waste to these treatment plants and most of the HCFs are mixing it with municipal waste,” Mr Reddy said.

In reply to another RTI application, PCB officials said that they have issued notices to the hospitals which did not have biomedical authorization. Further, the officials said that they took the issue to the notice of higher officials and that they will call for meetings to take further action.

Mr Reddy suggested unauthorised HCFs and those which do not have Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) should be immediately closed. There is urgent need to take measures before biomedical waste becomes health hazard, he added.

He has requested the Governor to direct the State government to constitute special teams and see that HCFs work under proper authoritsation and follow rules.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:25:00 AM |

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