685 of 730 hospitals didn’t file bio-waste reports; admin warns of action
Srinagar, August 8: Out of 730 hospitals in Kashmir, only 45 have submitted annual reports on biomedical waste generated by them. As per the provisions of Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998, it is the mandatory for every owner/management of an institution generating bio-medical waste including a hospital, nursing home, clinic, dispensary, veterinary institution, animal house, pathological laboratory, and blood bank, to ensure the proper disposal of these wastes. However, the official figures of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), out of 730 medical establishments (government and private hospitals) only 45 have submitted annual report of biomedical waste generation. Bio medical waste contains a number of infectious bacteria and so it has to be handled very carefully and discharged in a safe manner, in accordance with the provisions of Bio Medical Waste Rules 2016. Dr Sabeena, Senior Scientist and Head of Biomedical Waste Management Cell, SPCB said, “The reports have been mostly submitted by the government hospitals while as private hospitals are sleeping over the matter.” The SPCB has decided to initiate action against the erring health care institutes for not complying with the norms. A notice has been issued by member secretary PCB, B.M Sharma to various health care institutes. The hospitals have been asked to explain the reasons for not submitting the reports. “Whereas, the requirements of Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016- have constantly been observed in breach by the hospitals under your command and control,” reads the order. The notice mentions that “the matter has persistently been taken up with the hospitals for bringing in positive and tangible changes in the status of compliance of Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, but the default persists.” It says, “Whereas, it has been decided to proceed against you legally by taking recourse to penal provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, which provides for prosecution of defaulting government functionaries.” The notice reads, “Now therefore, you are called upon through this notice to show reasons within 30 days from its issuance as to why the prosecution proceedings may not be initiated against you in the court of law for observing the requirements of Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, in breach.” According to the 2016 guidelines, waste should be collected in specified colour coded bags, disposal of needles and injections on the site, storage of colour coded bags in specified covered location, treatment and final disposal of waste at the authorized disposal site. Rules further provide implementation of barcode system for collection of waste.