CB-CID detects illegal sale of 230kg bio-medical waste
By SV KRISHNA CHAITANYA | Published: 15th July 2016 06:00 AM |
CHENNAI: INVESTIGATION into some city hospitals, including noted ones, selling bio-medical waste instead of treating and disposing of them safely as is mandatory, has zeroed in on a private firm that had bought over 200 kg waste from a leading hospital.
The CB-CID team, probing the case following a direction from the southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT), has submitted the preliminary investigation report to the State government. It might be submitted to the NGT either on Friday or on July 25, when the case comes up for hearing.
Based on information obtained through a Right to Information (RTI) query, Express had reported how some leading hospitals in Chennai and its neighbourhood, both government and private, were selling the waste instead of disposing of them scientifically.
A senior CB-CID officer told Express that between October and December last year, Kanchi Kamakoti Child’s Trust Hospital had sold around 230 kg of recyclable plastic waste to Kalikamba Enterprises in Tondiarpet run by one Paneerselvam. This is in contravention of the rules that mandates all hospitals to enter into an agreement with the Common Treatment Facility Provider (CTFP) appointed by the State government to dispose of segregated solid biomedical waste. No hospital is authorised to sell biomedical waste to a third party. Sources said the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) had raided the hospital and the godown of the private firm. Following this, the waste was returned to the hospital, which in turn sent it to GJ Multiclave, one of the companies authorised to handle bio-medical waste treatment.
When contacted, CB-CID DSP S Sathya Moorthy said the instructions were to probe only Child’s Trust Hospital. “We will broaden the scope of the investigation if the tribunal directs us to do so.”
Meanwhile, officials from the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) conducted inspections of hospitals affiliated to medical colleges and a separate report would be submitted to the NGT.
As per official records, 617 hospitals, which signed MoUs with two common biomedical treatment facilities in Chennai and three in neighbouring districts, having bed-strength of 31,412 but generate just 9,666 kg of bio-medical waste per day - a paltry 307 gm per bed per day - far less than the conservative estimates of both the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and the TNPCB. Even the new Bio Medical Waste Management Rules 2016 puts a figure of 1-2 kg of solid bio-medical waste generated per patient per day in a hospital.
This has raised questions as to whether this waste purchased from hospitals is being repackaged and returned to the stores.