New Delhi, July 21: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday that over 1.60 lakh health-care facilities (HCF) across the country have not obtained requisite permission under Bio-medical Waste Management (BMWM) Rules and are running without authorisation.
The apex pollution monitoring body told the green panel that as per the annual report submitted by State Pollution Control Boards, out of 2,70,416 health-care facilities, only 1,11,122 units have applied for authorisation and 1,10,356 HCFs have obtained authorisation under BMWM Rules, 2016, The Hindu reported.
Out of these 2,70,416 numbers of HCFs, only 1,10,356 HFCs are authorised till the year 2019, it said.
“Apart from those who have applied and those who have obtained authorisation, there are about 50,000 health-care facilities who have neither applied nor taken the authorisation,” CPCB said in its report.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the States to expedite the process and complete it by December 31 and file a compliance report with the CPCB.
According to the report, 25 State and Union Territories have completed their inventories of all health-care facilities and 10 namely; Assam, Kerala, Mizoram, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand have yet to do it.
The tribunal asked these States to expedite the process and complete the same positively by December 31, 2020 and file a compliance report with the CPCB.
The report said there is no Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTFs) in seven States and UTs namely – Andaman & Nicobar, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim to cater service of treatment and disposal of bio-medical waste.
It said that these States are managing disposal of bio-medical waste with existing captive treatment facilities installed by health-care facilities or by deep burial of waste.
These States have reported that they are under the process of setting up of new CBWTFs, the report said.
With respect to Monitoring of Healthcare Facilities such as Veterinary Hospitals, Animal Houses, AYUSH Hospitals and so on, it is stated that Andaman & Nicobar, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Tripura have not provided any information.
CPCB conducted random inspections of veterinary hospitals and animal houses and observed that majority of them have not obtained authorisation from prescribed authority.
Hospitals have not registered with the CBWTFs for treatment and disposal of BMW generated in their veterinary hospitals.
No segregation of waste at source is practised through separate color-coded collection bins and records are not maintained, the report said.
The tribunal also noted that 150 out of 200 CBWTFs have connected with Central server of CPCB for transmission of online continuous Emission Monitoring Systems.
CBWTFs in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, MP and West Bengal have installed CBWTFs in all facilities, however some of the CBWTFs are yet to connect with CPCB server, the tribunal noted and said that gaps need to be bridged.
The NGT reiterated its earlier direction for constitution of District Planning Committees to monitor District Environment plans covering important environmental issues.
We also find it necessary to require State Pollution Control Boards to ascertain status of compliance of norms by the CBWTFs, specially that no biomedical waste is disposed by CBWTFs at any place in an illegal manner and report the same to the CPCB, it said.
The green panel directed all the States and Union Territories which are lacking in compliance to take further steps and give their reports to the CPCB online.
A further consolidated report be compiled by the CPCB based on information collected from all the Pollution Control Boards as on November 30, 2020, the NGT said.
The direction came on a plea filed by a U.P.-based journalist Shailesh Singh seeking directions for closure of all hospitals, medical facilities and waste disposal plants which were not complying with the waste management rules.
It had alleged that rag-pickers were allowed unauthorised transportation of waste and they disposed it in an unscientific manner.