Taking serious note of recovery of an amputated human leg from garbage dump situated outside Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), a team of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on Thursday raided its premises and found serious violations of Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998 norms.
At PIMS, after the inspection of premises, which went for nearly 4 hours, the raiding team had noticed very serious lapses in different sections of this premier institute, which is being run by Punjab minister Surjit Singh Rakhra led charitable society.
An amputated human leg was found from the garbage dump two days back and the matter was highlighted by media citing negligence of the institute staff.
"After investigating matter it was found that PIMS staff, very carelessly, threw an amputated leg after a surgery in the garbage dump along with blood stained bandages and other surgical material," police sources said.
While revealing the violation detected by the raiding team senior executive engineer SP Garg said that in one of the operation theatre, liquid waste treatment system was being bypassed.
"In emergency ward too, the team noticed used needles and syringes lying without shredding. The teams also saw that from a section, blood was being taken in an open bucket after dialysis which was highly unprofessional and unhygienic," he said.
"The team also noticed discrepancies in the maintenance of garbage lifting records and three days record in December were completely missing. It is mandatory for the hospital to maintain a record of disposals regularly. If the agency failed to pick the garbage on any day, it is logical that on next day, they would pick the double quantity of garbage but it was not found so," he further added.
PIMS PRO Nayala Arora, when contacted revealed, “It was a routine inspection and the authorities had taken serious notice of some of the discrepancies. All this happened on the part of contract employees responsible for the Bio-Medical waste management. We had been arranging training for these staff, in the past, under the guidance of Dr Surinder Singh Ajrawat who is nodal officer for the same. We will continue with these trainings as the staff on contract keep on changing.”
Meanwhile, the teams also visited premises of SGL Charitable hospital where too similar serious violations were noticed.
"In one of the operation theatre, the waste treatment plant was not functional at all. Hospitals had not placed colour based dustbins to identify the type of garbage. In ward number 216, lots of un-shredded plastic waste was found lying," added Garg.
"We would issue the show cause notices to both hospitals under section 5 of Environmental Protection Act-1986 and if found guilty they would certainly face the punitive action under law as Board is adopting a zero tolerance policy in this regard," he further added.
When contacted director PIMS Rajshekhar Kothapali said, "It was a routine inspection and no discrepancy was reported to us."
When HT revealed the discrepancies reported by PPCB authorities he said, “He would be back with the details within a minute.” But he failed to return back.
Meanwhile, Manjit Singh, secretary of SGL trust revealed, “We had immediately removed all the discrepancies immediately when pointed out by PPCB authorities.”