Jammu hospital MS directed to pay Rs 18 lakh compensation for unscientific disposal of bio-medical waste
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control board recently directed the Medical Superintendent (MS) of Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh Hospital to pay a compensation of Rs 18.28 for failing to handle the disposal of bio-medical waste in a scientific manner.
The pollution control board has also given clear instruction that the MS, Dr. Manoj Chalotra, to pay the amount within 45 days without fail. After 45 days an interest rate of 12% will be charged if the payment is not received.
It further noticed that this oldest hospital of Jammu had been operating without any mandatory consent to establish under the Air Act, 1981, the Water Act, 1974, and any authorization under the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
As per the latest media report by the DailyExcelsior.com, earlier the MS, the officer in command, had been issued with a show-cause letter regarding the issue on August 5, 2020. The notice had been sent after several attempts of communications by the Pollution Control Board.
The issue of illegal and unscientific handling of the bio-medical waste had been taken to the Pollution Control board previously when the Board received reports along with photographic evidence regarding the matter.
Following this, the Pollution Control Board, via several communications tried to take up the matter with the Principal Government Medical College Jammu and Associated Hospitals and the Medical Superintendent of the SMGS Hospital. However, the hospital management did not bring any positive changes.
Sources informed the Daily Excelsior, "Medical Superintendent of SMGS Hospital Dr. Manoj Chalotra paid no serious attention towards the installation of Sewerage Treatment Plant as a result of which the sewage generated from the hospital is discharged into the public sewer without any treatment in brazen defiance of the directions of the National Green Tribunal and in blatant violation of Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986."
Following this, in the show cause notice, the Pollution Control Board asked the MS to explain the reason for the continuous failure to handle the bio-medical waste in a scientific manner.
Sources further informed, "The latest inspection report by the Regional Director Pollution Control Board Jammu indicates that the bio-medical waste is continuously being mixed with the municipal solid waste and is being disposed of by burning in the campus. Moreover, there are photographic shreds of evidence that clearly depict brazen violation of rules with impunity, which has caused irreversible damage to the environment besides being a serious health hazard."
Thereafter, the Regional Director PCB Jammu imposed Environmental Compensation on the MS under Polluter Pays Principle in the line of the directions issued by the National Green Tribunal. Accordingly, the Board levied a compensation of Rs 18.28 lakh on the MS for violating Bio-Medical Waste Rules, 2016 for the period commencing from the issuance of show-cause notice up to October 20, 2020, reports Daily Excelsior.
The order of the PCB, as reported by the Daily Excelsior, says, "The Environmental Compensation/penalty for such violation of environmental norms will continue as per environmental laws and approved guidelines on day to day basis till compliance as per rules in done and reported by the concerned."