Terrible strain of BIO-medical waste management in Chennai

Hospitals violate Pollution control board law as they continue to dump
medical waste, authorities keep their mouth shut.

Amal Raj

Chennai: Dumping biomedical waste in public places is one of the ongoing and
rising issues in Chennai. It questions not only the credibility of the entire hospitality
sector in the state of Tamil Nadu , but also questions the responsibility of the
authorities for not taking action against this.
According to Swachh India, Tamil Nadu state Pollution control Board, Dumping
hospital waste in public places is a violation of law and the authorities have the right
to take cases against those who violate the law, which can cause them Five years
imprisonment or penalty of one lakh. But are the authorities taking action?

After the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown there has been a rise in the bio-medical
wastes in hospitals daily, including the Super-Multi speciality hospitals, other
government hospitals and even in the primary health centres. So tons of bio medical
waste is being carried out daily. There has been a limitation for disposing of
Bio-medical waste to most of the hospitals, said VHS Hospital HR department head.
“ Bhuvana Kumari, VHS Hospital HR Management head adds by saying that ,
according to VHS hospital, we are fully equipped with all the facilities in managing
hospital waste. We have a Bio-gas plant here. We dump the hospital waste daily to
that Biogas plant, “
But how can the hospital waste such as cyrinches, test tubes etc can be thrown to the
biogas plants, even the HR department head in VHS hospital refused to give the
answer for that.
Hospitals need a good sum to build a Bio-waste plant which is capable of ‘taking’
tons of hospital waste daily. Maybe this is backing them from doing so , said
TamilSelvi, a junior Doctor in Taramani Government dispensary.
She also adds by saying that,there are contract workers who are managing the
hospital waste. They take the waste and dump it somewhere. As a Doctor , I don’t
interfere in those issues and I don’t know much about it.

According to Tribuneindia.com, On paper, India should be able to handle
the additional burden of Covid-related waste: Early this year, the
Central Pollution Control Board said the country’s 198 biomedical
waste treatment facilities — plus such facilities in hospitals — can treat
826 tonnes of biomedical waste per day, which is more than the May
peak of 800 tonnes.

Source taken: Central Pollution Control Board

After analyzing this data by the Central Pollution Control Board of
India, we can understand the indication of percentage of Bio -medical
waste collected from all the states in this country.
Even the Super/Multi specialty hospitals and other government
hospitals are failing in dumping the Bio-Medical waste they create daily.
Albeit, for the people who live in the places near where the Bio -waste is
dumped says that, “Those who dump this hospital waste are clever enough not to
dump the waste in the areas where there is CCTV camera surveillance and they will
only dump after midnight.
“ Unlike the waste of Chicken, Mutton, and other food wastes, hospital waste
doesn’t smell, this is an advantage for those who dump this,” said Karthikeyan, a
resident staying in Kasturba Nagar.