Fri, 26 Feb 2021

New Delhi [India], January 19 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure strict compliance of the Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. It also asked CPCB to ensure that the compensation regime is duly applied against the defaulters, following due process.

The NGT bench headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that the standards of handling of Bio-medical waste need to duly comply and the authorities must ensure that waste is disposed of only through authorized agencies, common facilities are located as per guidelines and they must have Environment Clearance.

The NGT also said that there should be no pilferage by unauthorized recyclers and an adequate number of common bio-medical facilities should be set up.

The NGT directed the Chief Secretaries of all the States/UTs to oversee compliance at least every quarter and to ensure that authorization is secured by every health care facility in their respective jurisdiction and also there is adherence to the norms.

Similarly, the District Magistrates may, at their level, take necessary steps in their districts, in accordance with the District Environmental Plans.

"As found by the Oversight Committee for UP, ETPs are either not provided or are not functional in various health care facilities as required under the Rules. Compliance in this regard may be ensured in all States/UTs. While permitting deep burials, it may be ensured that groundwater contamination does not take place," the NGT said.

Apart from the general directions applicable to all the states/UTs, the UP State PCB may look into the compliance status of the hospitals, who are parties in the matter and give a report to the Oversight Committee for UP, headed by Justice S.V.S. Rathore, a former Judge High Court of Allahabad within two months, the NGT said.

The NGT directions came while hearing a batch of applications raising issues of non-compliance of the provisions of Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 (BMW Rules) by the States and UTs. The same has been framed under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The rules apply to all persons who generate, collect, receive, store, transport, treat, dispose, or handle bio-medical waste in any form including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories, blood banks, Ayush hospitals, clinical establishments, research of educational institutions, health camps, medical or surgical camps, vaccination camps, blood donation camps, first aid rooms of schools, forensic laboratories and research labs with specified exceptions.

The NGT also took note of the report and recommendations of the Oversight Committee and said that there are huge gaps in the compliance of authorisation regime. In some of the States, compliance is ranging from 17 per cent to 38 per cent only.

"We also note underutilization of the common bio-medical facilities at many places. Adequacy of facilities and their siting may need review. Such facilities must obtain requisite Environmental Clearance (EC)," the NGT said.

"Recycling of waste will only be through authorized recyclers. As observed earlier, it is utmost necessary to ensure that hazardous bio-medical waste is not mixed with general waste. CPCB needs to review the compliance status from time to time, at least once in every quarter and issue directions based on the observations from the reports received," the NGT said. (ANI)

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