Biomedical waste generation at maximum as Covid-19 cases surge in Delhi
- According to Biotic Waste Management, one of the largest common biomedical waste treatment facilities in Delhi, Covid-19 waste generated last July was around 7.2 tonnes per day, which increased to 12.5-13 tonnes per day by the end of April 2021.
With the number of Covid-19 infections rising over the past several weeks, the city is facing a massive surge in biomedical waste.
According to Biotic Waste Management, one of the largest common biomedical waste treatment facilities in Delhi, Covid-19 waste generated last July was around 7.2 tonnes per day, which increased to 12.5-13 tonnes per day by the end of April 2021.
“We have a total capacity of 34 tons per day so while we have a margin, if cases keep increasing, then we will reach capacity,” said Vikas Gehlot, spokesperson for Biotic Waste Management, the common biomedical waste treatment (CBWT) facility which caters to north, north-east, south, southeast and New Delhi.
“For the first time, there is a slight worry that we may reach capacity, but overall waste management is better than last year, mainly because of guidelines that have categorised biomedical waste and ensured that food and general waste is not coming to us,” said an office bearer of SMS Water Grace Pvt Limited, another CBWT.
Data shared by the three municipal corporations shows that general biomedical waste collected spiked to around 3 tonnes in April, compared to only around 700kg collected in March.
East Delhi Municipal Corporation collected 748.28kg of hazardous waste in April, compared to 170.8kg in March. The north civic body collected 2,776 kg of biomedical waste in April, out of which 959.1kg was collected between April 23 and April 30, when the cases began rising at a rapid and unprecedented rate.
In south Delhi, too, between April 23 and April 30, biomedical waste collected was 291.7kg.
Experts pointed out that the actual production of biomedical waste in the national capital is much higher than what is being collected by the civic agencies.
Delhi has reported an average of 23,890 new Covid-19 cases everyday in the past week. On Monday, 18,043 new cases were recorded in the city, with a positivity rate dropping to 29.56%.
“Unlike last year, the biomedical waste generation is not limited to hospitals and quarantine centres now. The cases are rising at such a fast pace that every household is now producing such waste, and much of it is not being disposed off in a safe manner. Trash from thousands of patients in home isolation is not even being collected separately as biomedical waste,” said Sunil Chhabra, solid waste management expert and volunteer with Save Our Planet, a citizens’ group working with waste collectors in Delhi-NCR.
Sanjay Gahlot, president of Delhi Safai Karamchari Union, said that masks, gloves and other hazardous biomedical waste is carelessly strewn all around the city. “With the rising number of cases these days, these could become the reason for infections,” said Gahlot.
East Delhi mayor Nirmal Jain, said waste is segregated at households. “The quantum of biomedical waste has increased but we are managing it safely,” he said.
Four days after a college student was allegedly molested on a skywalk at Manpada, local residents have raised safety concerns over another skywalk in the heart of the city which they claim is taken over by miscreants at night as there are no adequate lights and CCTV cameras. Interestingly, this skywalk near Viviana Mall is barely a few metres from former minister Jitendra Awhad's home and around two km from chief minister Eknath Shinde's residence.
With its private beach and a sprawling lawn, Ramtek bungalow in Malabar Hill leads the list, followed by Royal Stone, a colonial-style bungalow with wooden flooring located in Peddar Road. While Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar and revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil have requested for Royal Stone, forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, labour minister Suresh Khade and Vikhe-Patil are vying for Ramtek bungalow, the largest bungalow after Varsha, the official residence of the chief minister.
Mumbai: Two senior citizens lost their lives after the ceiling of a residential structure in which they resided came down on Monday evening. The deceased were identified as Devshankar Nathalal Shukla (93) and his wife, Arkhiben Devshankar Shukla (87). According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) disaster control cell, the incident took place at around 7.46 pm, on the first floor of the building.
Karnataka Police on Monday imposed curbs under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Shivamogga town after a clash between two groups over banners featuring Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue V D Savarkar and 18th Century ruler Tipu Sultan. A senior police officer familiar with the matter said tension broke out after a banner featuring Savarkar was put up at Amir Ahmed Circle, in Shivamogga, as part of Independence Day celebrations.
In a first, the national flag was hoisted amid tight security on Monday morning at Idgah Maidan in Chamarajpet. The Tricolour was hoisted at the Idgah Maidan by assistant commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban) MG Shivanna. Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, member of Lok Sabha from Bengaluru Central constituency PC Mohan, additional commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Sandeep Patil and deputy commissioner of police (Bengaluru west) Laxman Nimbargi were also present in the event.