Biomedical waste seizure: Mohali’s Fortis fined Rs 10 lakh
PPCB also recommends FIR against contractor, asks hospital to suspend housekeeping in-charge.
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on Monday imposed Rs 10-lakh fine on Fortis Hospital, Mohali, for violating provisions of the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The decision comes after seizure of pickup trucks carrying untreated biomedical waste from Fortis Hospital to a scrap dealer in Dadumajra Colony, Chandigarh, on February 2. The hearing convened by PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu concluded in Patiala on Monday.
According to the rules, untreated biomedical waste is to be transported only in vehicles authorised for the purpose by a competent authority as specified by the government.
Fortis Hospital authorities have also been asked to immediately suspend their house keeping in-charge, Rajesh Sharma, and take suitable action against him after inquiry, besides terminating the contract of Karan (responsible for lifting of solid waste). An FIR has also been recommended against the contractor.
“The role of Rajesh Sharma should also be probed. If his connivance with the contractor is established, an FIR should be lodged against him as well for negligence in the disposal of biomedical waste,” said a senior PPCB official.
Rs 25-lakh bank guarantee sought
The 11-point order has also directed the hospital to deposit a bank guarantee of ₹25 lakh with the PPCB as an assurance for compliance with Biomedical Waste Management Rules, valid for one year and further extendable.
Besides, the hospital has been asked to strengthen its internal mechanism of segregation, collection, transportation, storage and final disposal through the operator and provide bar-coding system within one month.
“The hospital will appoint a qualified officer (at least science graduate) as the in-charge of biomedical waste who should also get necessary training from the PPCB regional office in Mohali,” said the official.
The hospital will also be conducting the sampling of effluent-cum-sewage treatment plant from Punjab Bio Technology Incubator, Mohali, immediately and submit the report to the PPCB besides installing CCTV cameras on final biomedical waste collection area within seven days to rule out the possibility of pilferage.
The hospital in a statement said: “We have assured the PPCB to render full cooperation with the authorities concerned and complying with the issued order. We are awaiting the investigation report from the police in this matter.”
For action against scrap dealer
The PPCB has also asked the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee to look into strict action against scrap dealer Dharampal, who was caught collecting biomedical waste of the hospital. Also, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee will be asked to investigate the matter regarding illegal recycling of plastic biomedical waste by the man — indentified as Khan — who has been purchasing the untreated biomedical waste from Dharampal for processing in Delhi.
The PPCB team had stopped a pickup truck near YPS roundabout, Mohali, on February 2. On searching the vehicle, they found several green bags that were concealing red bags, containing contaminated biomedical waste. The raiding team had sent the waste for proper disposal to an incinerator at the biomedical facility in Baliali village, Mohali.