One of J&K’s oldest hospitals has already been fined for breaking environmental laws
Even though the J&K Pollution Control Board (JKPCB) strictly enforces the rules for the management of biomedical waste, the dumping of bio-waste is in complete disorder on the territory of the Union, in particular in the rural area.
The throwing of biomedical waste into the open has emerged as a great health hazard, especially during the pandemic. This has become a problem even in tourist destinations, as a video of biomedical waste dumped on the shore of the Lidder River has gone viral on social media.
Visuals of a huge amount of biomedical waste, discarded open in the Kulgam district of South Kashmir, have also been in circulation.
Fine already imposed on J & K’s oldest hospital
During the first wave of coronavirus, the JKPSC imposed environmental compensation of Rs 18.28 lakh on the medical superintendent of SMGS Jammu hospital for the illegal and unscientific handling and disposal of biomedical waste.
The JKPCB had imposed the fine with the order to deposit it within 45 days, failing which interest at the rate of 12% will accumulate at the risk and responsibility of the agent.
According to information in local media, it emerged that one of J&K’s oldest hospitals was operating without compulsory consent to establish / operate under the 1981 Air (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act. ) and pollution control) Act, 1974 and authorization under the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Unscientific disposal of biomedical waste
J&K Pollution Control Board (JKPCB) Chairman Suresh Chugh said clear guidelines had already been given to all institutes regarding the scientific disposal of biomedical waste. “There is no question of condoning unscientific or illegal handling of biomedical waste. We are monitoring the function of all institutions to ensure proper application of the laws,” Chugh told the International Business Times.
Regarding the Anantnag incident where biomedical waste was reportedly dumped on the bank of a river, the president of the JKPCB said it was an isolated case. “We have taken note of the reports,” he said, adding that all institutions followed the prescribed rules regarding the disposal of biomedical waste as a whole.
Sealed medical store in Anantnag
Under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Dr Piyush Singla, a team visited the Srigufwara region where some people dumped biomedical waste on the bank of the Lidder River.
Upon investigation, the team observed that a medical store located in Loiseer Srigufwara was involved in dumping biomedical waste along the riverbank in clear violation of the rules.
The team immediately sealed the store and served a show cause notice on the owner for committing the offense in gross violation of the rules for the disposal of biomedical waste.
Poorly equipped to handle biomedical waste
According to the official record, there are 3,688 government health facilities in J&K, including public health centers (PHC), community health centers (CSC) and sub-centers.
Over the past ten or twenty years, a large number of “ill-equipped” health institutes, veterinarians and medical centers have been established in rural areas of J&K. These healthcare facilities produce large amounts of biomedical waste without any mechanism in place to transport and dispose of it safely.