While the Delhi government grapples with poor disposal of a mammoth 9,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste every day, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has exposed that even the more hazardous biomedical waste, also known as hospital waste, is being treated with scant regard for safety concerns.
CAG has said no preliminary feasibility study on technology and quantum of waste was conducted before installation of a biomedical waste treatment plant at Nilothi. There is another similar centralised plant at Okhla in the city.
The CAG report tabled in Delhi Assembly on Tuesday also says the genuineness of the selection procedure for awarding contracts to both plants could not be verified the directorate had expressed its inability to trace the records.
CAG says Delhi generates about 70 tonnes of biomedical waste from various hospitals, clinics and clinical labs every day. Moreover, no system has been put in place to monitor the quality of drugs being supplied to hospitals and dispensaries.
Environmentalists allege the management and handling rules have not been adhered to properly when it comes to biomedical waste disposal and only a small quantity of this hazardous waste is treated in some form. The rest goes to open dumps.
With the number of hospitals and nursing homes in Delhi going up, biomedical waste has become a major problem. However, the Delhi pollution control committee — which is authorised to allow collection, reception, storage, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste — said only 10 tonnes of biomedical waste is generated each day in Delhi.
“We have authorised three operators for collection of waste from individual generators and its treatment and disposal at their facility. A number of major hospitals have closed down their incinerators and are letting the operators do the job,” said a DPCC official.