Unscientific disposal of bio medical waste posing health hazards

Srinagar: Disposal of bio-medical waste is posing a serious challenge to the health authorities as they have failed to come up with additional Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) treatment plants in Kashmir.

“As of now, bio-medical waste from almost all the districts is being transported to Lassipora treatment plant in district Pulwama, which is already under huge load and is also violating disposal guidelines,” sources said.

So far, sources said, the lone treatment plant at Lassipora is not enough for the huge quantity of varied bio-medical waste reaching the plant.

Anantnag, Kupwara and Baramulla districts are topping the list from where huge quantity of bio-medical waste is emanating given the presence of health facilities in these three districts.

In district Anantnag there are 204 healthcare facilities while as in district Kupwara and Baramulla there are 312 and 286 healthcare facilities respectively, producing huge quantity of bio-medical waste, said an official.

“Bio-medical waste from all the districts is transported to Lassipora treatment facility, which is not only putting additional pressure on the treatment facility but is also jeopardizing the scientific way of disposing off the waste,” said the source.

Surprisingly, the Pollution Control Board (PCB), instead of pressing the authorities for setting up additional treatment facility in Kashmir, is rather busy in issuing notices to the healthcare facilities, impressing upon the segregation of waste and the treatment of liquids by setting up sewage treatment plants.

“J&K State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) is in the process of issuing notices to those Health Care Facilities (HCF’s), which are operating without Consent to Establish/Operate under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,” reads a circular issued by PCB.

As per experts, there is a need of having district-wise BMW plants so that the waste is treated at its respective spots, and the exposure of the bio-medical waste to the environment is minimized.

“There is a dire need of having district-wise treatment plants so that the waste is not to be transported to Pulwama,” said a doctor, adding “there is also a dire need of monitoring the working of the treatment plant at Lassipora to keep a check to ensure that the waste is disposed off on scientific lines.”

Notably, the bio-medical waste comprises of waste generated during diagnosis, treatment or immunization in hospitals, nursing homes, pathological laboratories and blood banks.

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