'Sewage treatment plant not working at AIIMS'

8 more hospitals yet to install it, Green Tribunal told

AIIMS does not have an operational sewage treatment plant while eight other hospitals, including Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge, have no such facility till date, an expert committee on Friday informed the National Green Tribunal which termed the finding as “shocking”.

AIIMS, however, contended the sewage treatment plant (STP) was functional and only on the date of inspection it was non-operational, to which the bench directed the hospital to ensure that an alternative system is put in place.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar was apprised about the current waste management status of Delhi hospitals by the expert panel which had conducted fresh inspections of 17 hospitals, including RML, Kalawati Saran and Sucheta Kriplani, pursuant to the tribunal’s August 23 order.

The panel, which did not submit its report, informed the bench that while the hospitals were complying with bio-medical waste rules, eight of them, including Safdarjung, Lady Hardinge, Sucheta Kriplani, Kalawati Saran and Bara Hindu Rao, are yet to install STPs, but have started the process for it.

Expressing its displeasure with the situation, the bench remarked that government hospitals, more particularly AIIMS, instead of hiding their deficiencies should try to rectify them as they cater to a larger section of the society as compared to private hospitals.

“These government hospitals serve larger section of society. Lot of poor people go to these hospitals. Don’t let a poor man get infected. Greatest fear with people when they get admitted in a government hospital is that of contracting an infection and this fear is not without reason,” it said.

The tribunal made it clear that it is “concerned in improving your (hospital) standards and not to shut you down”.

The bench gave the committee a week to submit a comprehensive report, including on the sanitation standards of the government hospitals and listed the matter for further hearing on October 31.

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