Top Delhi hospitals — including All India Institute of Medical Sciences, RML, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge — do not have sewage treatment plants, an expert committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal has said. The committee inspected 17 hospitals in the Capital.
“AIIMS claimed its sewage treatment plant was nonfunctional only on the day of inspection. Fourteen hospitals do not have the system at all. They have sought time, ranging from three to 15 months, to build waste water treatment systems,” said Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) chief Sandeep Mishra.
“Additionally, the DPCC inspected 12 private hospitals. Their reports are yet to be compiled and placed before the tribunal. Disposal of bio-medical waste is satisfactory at almost all government hospitals, but they need to do much more in ensuring that untreated sewage does not hit the drains,” he said.
The tribunal told AIIMS to ensure that an alternative system was put in place. “These government hospitals serve larger sections of society. A lot of poor people visit them. Do not let a poor man get infected. The greatest fear with people when they get admitted in a government hospital is that of contracting an infection. The fear is not without a reason,” it said.
The expert committee will now submit a comprehensive report. The matter will be heard on October 31.
The tribunal said a large number of private hospitals and nursing homes are operating in Delhi and by violating bio-medical waste disposal rules they were causing a great danger to public health and environment.
“We direct the committee to pay surprise visits to private nursing homes, particularly smaller ones, and submit their report regarding collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical waste,” the NGT said.