NGT asks Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital to follow waste rules or face blackout
National Green Tribunal (NGT) has told Safdarjung Hospital to comply with biomedical waste disposal norms within 15 days or it will cut the water and power supply of the hospital.delhi Updated: Feb 21, 2017 23:23 IST
Doctors at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital may soon be operating and treating patients in the dark with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) threatening to cut off its water and power supply if it does not comply with biomedical waste disposal norms within 15 days.
“It’s impossible to meet the deadline, such a project will take at least six months to a year,” said Dr AK Rai, medical superintendant of the hospital.
Safdarjung is one of the busiest government hospitals in Delhi, with a daily footfall of 7,000-8,000 patients. It has the biggest burns ward and the highest number of deliveries in north India, delivering between 70 and 80 babies each day.
The NGT notice reached the Safdarjung hospital three days ago after an inspection revealed the hospital did not have a sewage treatment plant. The NGT letter has given the hospital a 15-day period to fix the problem.
“The two new blocks for emergency and surgery have sewage treatment plants (STPs), which will start working when the buildings start work. But there are no STPs in the old blocks and constructing new ones is a time-consuming project,” said Dr Rai.
Constructing the plant will involve putting in new sewer and connecting all sewers to the plant. “Such a project will take at least six months to a year. We had asked the CPWD (Central Public Works Department) to take up the project, but it does not have the expertise. We have now asked the Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation Limited,” said Dr Rai.
The hospital said it will ask the NGT for more time.
The order came following an NGT judgment in the 20-year-old Almitra Patel case in December 2016, when the NGT ordered all state governments, union territories and civic bodies across the country to implement the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 in all respect.
Following the order, inspections were conducted in hospitals in February. “An inspection was carried out around a week back. The hospital completely complies with the rules and the visit was very positive,” an official from AIIMS said.
“During the visit, the NGT pointed out some deficiencies and we will work towards making the changes. However, we received no warning,” said an administration official from Lady Harding Medical College (LHMC), who did not wish to be named.
In another case in 2013, AIIMS, Safdarjung and LHMC were among nine government hospitals in Delhi for not having sewage treatment plants.