Medical waste: HC orders clarity

K R Medical Centre, Mandya, and other nursing homes had challenged the KSPCB communication dated June 29, 2004 asking them to obtain sanction under the two Acts before discharging medical waste from their hospitals.

Consent

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1961 and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 make it mandatory for an industry to obtain consent from the Board before discharging industrial effluents.

The petitioners contended that the provisions of the Acts apply only to industrial units and not to nursing homes and hospitals.

The hospitals are considered service sectors and do not come under the definition of industry. They submitted that the hospitals were governed by Bio Medical Waste Rules and hence the two legislations do not apply to them.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice A S Bopanna disposed of the petitions with a direction to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to decide on the issue.

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