July 13, 2008

Pollution board slaps notices on hospitals, nursing homes

The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has issued warning notices to some nursing homes and hospitals for not adhering to bio-waste management norms.
Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998

as amended in 2000 by the Centre mandates proper segregation, treatment, transport and disposal of the infectious bio-medical wastes for the safeguard of public health.

The onus of ensuring proper treatment of such wastes lies squarely with the hospitals and nursing homes. The municipalities and private bodies are only supposed to pick up and transport duly treated bio-medical wastes for disposal at the municipal dumping site.

According to Chief Scientist of the WBPCB Dipak Chakraborty, while two private nursing homes have been given ‘closure notice’ with a one-month time period, the others have been heavily fined for not segregating the bio-medical waste in an eco-friendly manner.

At an interactive session, which was organised by Concern for Calcutta, a non-governmental organisation, alongwith WBPCB and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), experts stressed on the need for better and stricter monitoring.

Apart from the two hospitals, notices have also been issued to a few other medical establishments. They were also fined Rs 50,000 for spreading pollution with bio-medical wastes.

While the nursing homes are located in the Ekbalpore and Kidderpore area, the hospital is located in Ultadanga.

Chakraborty said: “We had issued notices to several hospitals and nursing homes after finding that they were not segregating bio-medical wastes properly before disposal. A nursing home in Salt Lake has been issued a closure notice within a month.”

Though the nursing homes claimed they segregate and mutate the waste following the safety measures before disposing them off through a private agency, WBPCB’s inspection revealed otherwise.

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