BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday fined a private health facility in the city Rs 1 lakh for littering hazardous bio-medical waste and warned it not to repeat it.
BMC commissioner Vijay Kulange said the hospitals are apathetic towards disposal of hazardous biomedical waste. “They (hospitals) are doing it deliberately to cut costs. They have dedicated agencies to lift bio-medical waste yet they are flouting the norms. It is a sorry state of affairs by such responsible institutions. We are adopting zero tolerance policy towards all violations of sanitation,” he said.
He said BMC has written to the chief district medical officer (CDMO), Khurda to initiate case against the hospital. “The CDMO is empowered to take action as per clinical establishment rule,” Kulange added.
The biomedical waste (management and handling) rules 2011, said biomedical wastes such as cotton, needles, and body parts and other wastes generated from the hospitals should be dumped in separate containers at the primary levels (in the patient wards). Then, it should be disposed in the incinerator.
If the medical waste are not segregated (different kinds of waste kept in different containers for disposal), and not disposed properly, it is likely to generate toxic chemicals, which can pollute the environment.
Director of the hospital said, “It was not medical waste. The waste basically contained waste papers and wrappers of medicines. The private agency of BMC was supposed to lift them but it has not done so for the past 10 days. Our biomedical waste is lifted by another agency.”
Earlier, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) banned burning of waste as it generates toxic chemicals such as furan and dioxin and carcinogenic substance, which causes cancer. “And if the wastes are not segregated or strewn around, it will cause release of persistent organic pollutants (POP),” said a scientist at OSPCB.