Srinagar: With health department putting its efforts to segregate the bio-medical waste at its source, the initiative is proving to be a futile exercise as the agency which is handling the treatment of the waste is violating disposal guidelines, posing serious threats to the environment and human health.
“The treatment plant situated at Lassipora, Pulwama has been disposing off all the wastes in a totally unscientific way, violating the set guidelines,” sources said.
Pertinently, the health department had taken the initiative of segregating the bio medical waste while categorizing it in four different categories like ‘Black,’ for non-infected waste such as cytotoxic drugs and chemical wastes, ‘Red,’ for soiled waste such as infected dressings, ‘Yellow,’ for anatomical waste, such as placenta, pathological waste and body parts, ‘Blue,’ for infected plastics, such as syringes, gloves and plastic waste and a white plastic container for needles and cut glasses.
The process has been going on smoothly, however, what has raised concerns is the unscientific disposal of the waste generated at the hospitals, sources said.
The agency that has been tasked for the collection of the waste from the government hospitals is also collecting it from different private hospitals.
“The entire waste that is collected, is dumped at Lassipora without proper treatment before disposal,” said the source.
As per the guidelines by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the wastes generated at the hospital cannot undergo similar methods of disposal. Different wastes are to be treated differently at one common treatment facility.
“Wastes from the black plastic contained, which is used to collect non-infected waste has to be disposed off at a secure land filling, after undergoing proper chemical treatment,” say the guidelines.
For infected waste category, which includes Red, Yellow, Blue and White plastic containers there are different treatment techniques that are required to be followed, which is literally missing at the treatment facility, Lassipora, sources say.
“The wastes collected in Red container needs to be autoclaved first, then the wastes are to be buried deep,” however, this kind of waste also meets the same treatment as it is also dispatched to the land filling, and no autoclaving whatsoever, is done,” adds the source.
Similarly, the wastes collected in Yellow container needs a deep burial for the disposal, and those collected in blue and white containers need to be disinfected with 1 per cent chlorine solution. After disinfecting the waste collected in Blue container, the wastes are then to be re-cycled, and the contents of white container are to be disposed off in a deep pit, read the guidelines.
None of the above guidelines are being followed at Kashmir’s treatment facility, which is negating all the efforts that are being taken at the source level, while collecting and segregating the waste, sources say.
What is interesting is also the official apathy towards the issue, with the bureaucrats in the department, handling the issues, turning a blind eye towards a breach which can emerge out as fatal.
“Everybody knows what is happening, but there is no action against the violation,” sources said.