The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed hospitals in Uttarakhand to ensure proper collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical and solid waste in the State and said any violation would lead to imposition of environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 on them.
The green panel directed Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board to file a list of various hospitals in the State and submit a complete and comprehensive status report on the steps taken for disposal of medical waste in two weeks.
“The state government shall impose an environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 on hospitals in the State which do not have complete mechanism for proper collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical waste,” a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
“10 per cent compliance”
The direction came after advocate M. C. Mehta, who has filed the petition for cleaning of Ganga, said that there has only been 10 per cent compliance of the NGT direction. He said that hospitals in Haridwar do not have proper site for disposal of waste.
He alleged that Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board has not taken effective steps to ensure compliance of the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 and proper disposal of bio-medical waste.
The Bench noted there are 708 hospitals in Uttarakhand, however, there were only two private companies in Udham Singh Nagar and Roorkee which deal with bio-medical and other hazardous waste.
Not sufficient capacity
These firms were collecting medical waste from government and private hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare centre, but they are not sufficient to treat the entire waste generated by the State, it noted.
The NGT had earlier said that there should be no throwing of any medical, bio medical or any other waste into Ganga and if any hospital is found throwing such waste anywhere authorities would recover Rs 20,000 per violation from them.
More waste plants
It had directed Uttarakhand government to construct at least two more bio-medical waste and hazardous waste plants to meet the requirement of hospitals in the State.
“These plants would be established at safe sites and away from beyond 1000 meters from the river/flood plain of the river Ganga. These plants would be established and made operative in accordance with law,” it had said.