Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding biomedical waste management, 19/03/2021
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re: News item published on 01.07.2020 in the local daily named “The Hindu” titled “Ramky Group accused of dumping biomedical waste in the open in Hosur” dated 19/03/2021.
The report mentioned that the Ramky Group’s van turned into the open field and dumps heaps of biomedical waste. The van was seen dumping heaps of bio-medical waste on an open plot near the ESI out ring road, less than 2 Km. from the ESI Hospital, a Covid – 19 treatment facility. The heaps included swab collection kits, blood sample test tubes, urology bags, ventilator tubes, IV tubes among other biomedical waste. The medical waste was also being sold to scrap dealers.
The NGT in its order July 20, 2020 directed a joint Committee of CPCB and State PCB to take remedial action in the light of the reply by Ramky Energy and Environment Ltd. Salem and Medicare Environment Management Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, admitting the lapse. The CPCB was directed to improve its monitoring system in coordination with the concerned State PCBs or other authorities. The CPCB was also asked to issue separate guidelines - the guidelines should have a checklist which would be helpful in auditing performance of different waste management facilities, particularly the Covid19 waste management facilities.
The CPCB filed its compliance report February 24, 2021. The report informed the court that Environmental Compensation of Rs. 11, 87, 500/- was imposed against the facility M/s Ramky Energy and Environment Limited. Guidelines for "Monitoring Compliance of Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facilities by State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees" in which checklists was given to assess the performance of CBWITs to verify the compliance status with respect to Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 as well as CPCB guidelines was prepared. These guidelines envisaged monitoring overall functional aspects of CBWTFs.
The NGT in its order March 19, 2021 directed the state PCBs to take further action on continuous basis to monitor compliance of norms by the CBWTFs in terms of infrastructure, standards and track movement of waste to ensure compliance of mandate of law in the interest of environment and public health. Further, there was a need for an effective public grievance redressal system as well as a need for periodical review by the CPCB by holding video conferencing from time to time.