The Bombay High Court has taken steps to tighten its noose against hospitals violating the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.
The court directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to issue notices within two days to two hospitals — Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals in Parel and MA Podar Hospital at Worli.
The animal hospital is run by a private trust and the Podar hospital is the government-run ayurvedic hospital with a 210-bed capacity.
On Thursday, the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice JP Devdhar rapped the Board for its inaction against violators and directed it to initiate strict action including prosecution of highest authorities of the hospitals.
“We direct the Board to issue notices to both the hospitals within two days asking them to comply with the bio-waste rules in four weeks. Failing which the hospitals should be closed,” ruled the bench.
The bench issued the directions after going through the report submitted by two court commissioners — Advocates Shiraz Rustomjee and Uday Warunjikar — who had inspected 40 city hospitals and found that a majority of the hospitals do not comply with the bio-medical waste rules.
The two hospitals were rated “extremely poor” in the report.
Observing that such hospitals cannot be allowed to function, the Chief Justice directed the Board to issue notices to other hospitals which were termed as “poor” or “unsatisfactory” in the report asking them to comply with the rules within six to eight weeks, failing which prosecution should be initiated against the highest authority involved in day-to-day running of the hospital.
“People running the hospitals won’t change unless strict action is initiated against the hospitals,” said the chief justice.
The Board counsel, RV Govilkar, told the court that they had issued advertisements in newspapers asking the hospitals to implement the rules.
“Don’t waste public money. Close down 10 such hospitals and message will go to all the hospitals in the country,” said the chief justice.