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Biowaste disposal: Uttarakhand pollution board seeks list of private hospitals

The Uttarakhand pollution control board has asked the state director general of health to furnish a list of private-run healthcare centres operating across the state to ensure proper management of biomedical waste

dehradun Updated: Dec 14, 2017 20:21 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttrakhand news,biomedical waste,Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board
Biomedical waste dumped in the open at the Doon District Hospital. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo.)

The Uttarakhand pollution control board has asked the state director general of health to furnish a list of private-run healthcare centres operating across the state to ensure proper management of biomedical waste.

Following a public interest litigation filed by an Uttar Pradesh resident, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed neighbouring states, including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to submit the details on how bio-medical waste is management.

The Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board, on November 28, had submitted the details of 818 hospitals, including 198 government-run and 615 private-run and five semi-aided ones that are either burying the waste or sending it to the common waste management centres at Kashipur and Roorkee.

But, the list of private-run hospitals submitted by the state pollution board is less than the ones in operation, which prompted the green tribunal to question if the list includes all the private hospitals.

The pollution control board sought more time to furnish an updated list through the state health department.

Member secretary of the state pollution control board SP Subuddhi, in a letter to state director general health on December 4, has sought the details of private-run hospitals.

“The hospitals listed with us are those that needs authorisation for handling biomedical waste,” he said

“These are only the reputed hospitals and we still believe that are many more that are dumping biomedical waste in general bins.”

Only 615 private-run hospitals are listed with the state pollution control board while there are more than 600 smaller healthcare facilities in Dehradun district alone, a board official, who did not want to be named, said.

A rough estimate of the number of private-run hospitals in the state could be more than 2000, the official said.

“The government has no mechanism to register private hospitals so unregistered healthcare centres trend to dump the biomedical waste in general bins that spreads diseases, increase stray animal menace and others.”

Rag pickers are the most vulnerable and get infected. Stray dogs and pigs that feed on the garbage--which contains human flesh and blood—and have become a menace.

Earlier, state pollution control board and health officials have meet representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA)--the umbrella organisation of private doctors—who extended their support to the cause. But, not all doctors are members of the IMA.

“We know that not all doctors are members of the IMA so we have asked our chief medical officers to prepare a list of private-run doctors in their districts and sent it immediately,” said state director general of health Dr Archana Shrivastava.

In 1998, the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change notified the Biomedical Waste (management and handling) Rules under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

First Published: Dec 14, 2017 20:21 IST