Bio-medical waste in Kolar finds its way into tanks, dried up wells

Healthcare centres fail to hand over waste to treatment plants

The bio-medical waste generated by private hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic laboratories and other healthcare centres in the city is being illegally dumped on Kolaramma tank bed, attracting the wrath of local residents and environmentalists.

According to the State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) officials, there are 100 hospitals, both private and state-run, in the district and each healthcare generates 200 kg of waste, which includes infectious materials like used syringes, needles, empty glucose bottles, hand gloves, etc, everyday.

According to the Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) rules 2016, the healthcare centres should dispose of the waste within 48 hours of generation and not litter it in the public places. The waste should be treated with hypochlorite, before handing it over to the treatment plants.

The Meera Envirotech Private Limited, which has obtained the contract to treat bio-medical wastes generated in the city, has a plant on Chintamani Road on the outskirts of the city. All healthcare centres should register themselves with the company and hand over the waste to the company staff, who visit the centres every two days and pay a nominal fee, depending on the amount of waste generated. But, most of the centres have failed to abide by the law.

KSPCB can serve notice to hospitals and healthcare centres, which fail to scientifically dispose of the waste. The board can also cancel licences of such  centres, besides writing to the departments concerned to cut water and electricity supply. The law also empowers the board to move the court, which can impose a fine of Rs 5,000 and one year jail term on the offenders.

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