New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has slapped a fine of Rs 5 crore on Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical college in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, for failing to ensure proper disposal of medical waste, a source from the Pollution Control Board (PCB) office told Newsclick.
In November, a team of NGT had visited the BRD medical college and asked the college administration to pay Rs 5 crore fine, a senior official of the PCB office said.
The team found that the medical waste of the college was not being disposed of properly. It was being dumped and burnt inside the campus, an official was quoted as saying by PTI.
As per media reports, in November, the UP team of NGT visited BRD Medical College and found Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 being "seriously violated" by the college as heaps of undisposed medical waste were causing air and land pollution with foul smell emanating from them, even as no arrangements were made to put separate dustbins to dispose four types of bio-medical waste that included, infectious waste obtained from HIV, TB, and cancer patients.
Speaking with Newsclick on the issue, the suspended paediatrician of BRD Medical College hospital, Dr. Kafeel Khan, said, "I welcome the decision of NGT to fine Rs 5 crore on BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, for failing to ensure proper disposal of medical waste. In August 2018, NGT had warned the UP government for not taking adequate steps to prevent discharge of pollutants in Rapti river, saying the "failure of the administration" resulted in the death of more than 500 children in Gorakhpur in 2014, and announced the setting up of a monitoring committee to address the situation.
He further added "BRD Medical college incinerator is not working for the past few years. Biomedical waste disposal unit is just for formality. They don't follow color coding as recommend for biomedical waste. In fact, all medical waste is thrown outside the ward /ICU only. Improper disposal can lead to many diseases in animals as well as humans. Not only hospital staff people and patients, but people residing around the hospital are also in danger. The hospital should follow biomedical waste management Rules 1998 amended in 2016.
Khan also welcomed UPSWMMC's recommendation to reimbursed the recovered cost among the bereaved families whose children died during the past two years.
Here is the latest guidelines on colour coding for segregation of bio-medical waste:
Red Bag - Syringes (without needles), soiled gloves, catheters, IV tubes etc should be all disposed of in a red coloured bag, which will later be incinerated.
Yellow Bag - All dressings, bandages and cotton swabs with body fluids, blood bags, human anatomical waste, body parts are to be discarded in yellow bags.
Carboard box with blue marking - Glass vials, ampules, other glassware is to be discarded in a cardboard box with a blue marking/sticker.
White Puncture Proof Container (PPC) - Needles, sharps, blades
Black Bags - These are to be used for non-bio-medical waste. In a hospital set-up, this includes stationary, vegetable and fruit peels, leftovers, packaging including that from medicines, disposable caps, disposable masks, disposable shoe-covers, disposable tea cups, cartons, sweeping dust, kitchen waste etc.
Newsclick also approached BRD College's Principal Ganesh Kumar, but he disconnected the call saying that the administration would appeal as they did not get time to respond to NGT. When asked about reports of medical waste thrown and burnt inside the campus, Kumar said these were false.