Biomedical waste is highly toxic and has the risk of causing injuries or infections during handling and disposal.

Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru fined Rs 1 lakh for flouting biomedical waste laws
news Environment Wednesday, January 08, 2020 - 19:08

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has fined JP Nagar branch of Manipal Hospitals Rs 1 lakh for violating waste management rules. Taking to Twitter, IAS officer D Randeep, who is the Special Commissioner of Solid Waste Management, said, “Staff of the hospital has been found handing over Medical Waste mixed with dry waste to Open Lorry by Marshal. Penalty challan raised for Rs.1 lakh. Bio-medical waste is to be handled as per Bio-medical Waste Rules 2016 only.”

Biomedical waste is any waste generated during the process of diagnosis and treatment of humans or animals from hospitals, veterinary hospitals, clinics, research institutes, chemists, diagnostic centres etc. Biomedical waste is highly toxic and has the risk of causing injuries or infections during handling and disposal. A major part of biomedical waste includes used needles, scalpel blades, anatomical body parts, blood samples, contaminated body fluids, dressings and IV lines.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change brought in the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules on 27 July 1998, under the Environment Protection Act 1986. In August 2019, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had also devised a formula to penalise those who violate the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016.

According to the Biomedical Waste Management Rules 2019, those persons held responsible for violating the norms can be jailed for a term of five years or be fined Rs 1 lakh or both. 

Under these rules, healthcare establishments must categorise and dispose of biomedical waste into different couloured bags to identify the type of waste. Yellow bags are for waste meant for incineration. This includes pathological waste. 

Syringes, IV sets, catheters, gloves etc must be put into red bags. 

Needles, surgical blades, and scalpels must be disposed of in white bags, and broken glass and metals used in healthcare establishments goes into blue bags.

Once the waste is categorised, the healthcare establishments must give it to the Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facilities (CMBWTFs), where they will have to be disposed of in designated hazardous landfills.

In a similar instance in December 2019, Sharavathi Hospitals in Vijayanagar was fined Rs 50,000.