CHENNAI: A 16-member committee has been constituted by Tamil Nadu government to monitor disposal of infectious bio-medical waste in Chennai.
Headed by Chennai district collector, the committee is mandated to draft the District Environment Plan so as to furnish monthly progress to Chief Secretary on the effective implementation of the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
An official order in this regard has been issued by district collector R Seethalakshmi on August 30. The committee included officers from different line departments like revenue, chennai corporation, PWD,fisheries, rural health services and animal husbandry.
The monthly progress reports will be uploaded in the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) website. This comes following an order from Principle Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed on July 15, which gave two months deadline for all the States to form the district-level committees and make an inventory of health care facilities and bio-medical waste generation, besides setting-up common treatment and disposal facility.
The green bench said: "Even if after two months the States are found to be non-compliant, the compensation will be liable to be recovered from the States at the rate of Rs one crore per month till the non-compliance continues."
Official sources in TNPCB told Express that orders are being passed to form district level monitoring committees across the State. In a report submitted before NGT recently, Centre Pollution Control Board(CPCB) has found several shortcoming in implementation of Bio-Medical Waste Management rules in Tamil Nadu and proposed closure of health care facilities for continued violation.
Interestingly, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has been submitting contradicting figures on number of health care facilities and quantum of waste generated during last two hearing before NGT in the case filed by social activist Jawaharlal Shanmugam. In April,TNPCB said there were 4,307 healthcare facilities generating 17,226 tonnes of bio-medical waste per annum. But, the latest submission says there are 7,651 healthcare facilities.