Chennai: In an attempt to keep a vigil on activities within private hospitals related with selling biomedical waste for buck, the National Green Tribunal has directed all the private hospitals to make the disposal of biomedical waste transparent. The implementation of this rule merged in Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, will start from November 1.
All the private hospitals will have to upload the details of segregated solid bio-medical waste along with the total quantity of the waste disposed and the number of bags provided to Common Treatment Facility Provider in their websites. The Common Treatment Plants authorized by the government will also adopt a bar coding system for the waste provided by the hospitals which is also suppose to be displayed on the website by these hospitals.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board told TOI that it has also made mandatory for the private hospitals to install Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) / Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), in due course, in consultation with the TNPCB.
The hospital staff is to be informed by the hospitals about the recent changes and posters regarding disposal of such waste are required to be put up on the premises. The board has ordered private hospitals that there should be strict adherence to the new Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The norm was decided in a meeting on September 22, which was conducted by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Broad and state president of the Indian Medical Association along with with representatives from the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) and some private hospitals were also present in it, stated the board.
This came after; Jawaharlal Shanmugam, a petitioner from Thiruvanmiyur submitted pictorial evidence of the biomedical waste being sold by Kanchi Kamakoti Sankara Childs Trust to a private company Karung Kalikamba, to NGT. The biomedical waste which was sold weighed around 230 kg.
Investigations were conducted by CBCID into the matter and a confidential report was submitted to the southern bench of NGT in a sealed cover.
As stated by Shanmugam, the order of the tribunal implicated the private company, Karung Kalikamba, of Tondiarpet for purchasing bio-medical waste from Kanchi Kamakoti Sankara Childs Trust hospital.
In this connection, the green court said that as there were variations in bio-medical waste disposal reports from 21 hospitals across the city, the TNPCB had to explain the reason.On Wednesday, the petitioner told the National Green Tribunal that the private company which had purchased the bio-medical waste had already vacated the leased premises.
Implicating an involvement of a lobby in the selling and buying of biomedical waste, he again requested the tribunal to look into the matter. The Tribunal, thus, in this follow up had directed Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to initiate a probe. The tribunal also asked the board the reason for which it was not initiating action for criminal proceedings in the demeaned activities conducted by the company.
Highlighting a slot of discrepancy in the waste disposal reports submitted by 21 hospitals (out of 81 randomly selected hospitals earlier), the petitioner Shanmugam, put forward another request to NGT that one of the reports said while a private hospital weighed the waste as 250kg, a CTFP weighed it as 1,250kg.
Taking immediate action in this connection the tribunal has further directed the TNPCB to ensure that the 21 hospitals mentioned maintain a proper register with them displaying the details, so that the figures of both could be tallied. An Action Taken Report (ATR) is also ordered to be submitted by TNPCB in this concern. The Tribunal has posted the matter for further hearing on December 12.