Report on management of bio-medical waste, Uttar Pradesh, 24/07/2020
Report of the Oversight Committee headed by Justice SVS Rathore July 24, 2020. The report was in compliance with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order passed in Original Application No. 710/2017 in the matter of Shailesh Singh Vs Sheela Hospital and Trauma Centre & Others.
The issue related to non-compliance of the provisions of Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 (BMW Rules, 2016) by the state of Uttar Pradesh.
The Committee in its report said that there was an elaborate track and trace system of BMW prescribed in the BMW Rules, 2016 - in which all the coloured bags are bar-coded. The movement of trucks is tracked through global positioning system (GPS). However, barring a small pilot in Lucknow, none of the operators was using the bar-coding system. This puts a big question mark on the reliability of the data. Large infrastructural gaps in health care facilities (HCFs) have been noticed. Due to which many are not complying with BMW Rules.
Around 452 HCFs out of 530 HCFs with an operating capacity of more than 100 beds do not have sewage treatment plants (STPs)/ effluent treatment plants (ETPs). Even in government facilities, out of 1027 HCFs comprising of district hospitals and community health centers (CHCs) - 564 HCFs do not have collection sheds where biomedical waste can be collected. As far as primary health centers (PHC) are concerned, only 628 PHCs out of 3620 PHCs have deep burial pits.
The construction of ETPs in district hospitals was very slow and this year only 40 district hospitals have taken up ETP construction. There are 2483 HCFs that have not taken authorization under BMW Rules. Of these, 441 HCFs are government HFCs. An important gap was noticed in the disposal of radioactive materials.
The health department must develop standard protocols and build capacity for all the stakeholders, the report said.
The Oversight Committee report stressed on capacity building amongst the stakeholders. Pollution in hospitals was a constant challenge and the nature and extent of infections keep on varying, the latest being COVID-19. The report recommended that capacity building workshops be organised on a continuous basis for all stakeholders - doctors, paramedics, other hospital staff, laboratory staff, blood bank staff, private practitioners, nursing homes and the HCFs.
Note: The report of July 24, 2020 was uploaded to the NGT site on October 8, 2020