Davangere sits on bio-waste time bomb

KSPCB, Corporation fail to curb unscientific disposal of medical refuse, foetuses

Health ‘care’less: Buffaloes and dogs feed on bio-medical waste near the burial ground on P B Road in Davangere. DH PhotoDisposal of hazardous biomedical waste and human foetuses on vacant land, even as the Davangere City Corporation and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) look the other way, is posing a huge threat to the health of the people.

Incidents of dumping biomedical waste such as used tonic bottles, tablets, used syringes, IV fluid containers, bandages and body parts removed surgically are dumped on vacant land near burial ground on PB Road, underground drains and stormwater drains and other vacant sites in the city.

Shockingly, dumping of newborns and foetuses on vacant lands and plots is also on the rise in Davangere.

This despite the Corporation and the KSPCB issuing directions to the public and hospitals not to dump harmful medical waste in open sites. Adding to the muck are offals and waste from mutton and chicken shops. This has left the people in the surroundings of the dumping yards a worried lot. They fear that the unscientific disposal of waste could harm the health of students of schools and colleges located close to the vacant lands.

Caught in the vicious circle are milch cows and buffaloes which feed on the medical waste.

The plight of people who consume milk of such animals is understandable.

'People not worried'

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the Corporation Health and Education Standing Committee chairperson Rudramuniswamy blamed the lack of co-operation from the public, medical shops and nursing homes for the malaise.

The Corporation has installed separate containers and garbage bins for disposing solid waste and hazardous medical waste, he said. It had issued notices to violators, saying penalties would be imposed on them. Serious cases would be referred to KSPCB, the notices said.

No complaints

KSPCB officer Maheshwarappa said he would recommend action and book cases against violators if the authorities file written complaints.

Oral warning to violators and creating awareness among the public will not provide a permanent solution. The KSPCB will recommend severe action against hospitals which dump foetuses on vacant land, he said.

The problem will persist as along as the public do not adhere to scientific methods of disposing hazardous waste, he said.

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