The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in a report filed with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), has said that the state has been asked to carry out an inventory of the number of healthcare facilities, their biomedical waste generation, its collection, treatment and disposal within three months. NGT has also devised a formula to penalise those who violate the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
In a case filed by social activist Jawaharlal Shanmugam, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has reportedly been submitting contradicting figures on the number of healthcare facilities and quantum of waste generated during the last two hearings before NGT. The NGT also directed the state government to implement a barcode system in every healthcare facility where medical waste is going out of the facility.
According to a report in The New Indian Express, TNPCB had said in April there were 4,307 healthcare facilities generating 17,226 tonnes of bio-medical waste per annum. But, its latest submission shows that there are 7,651 healthcare facilities (HCF).
According to The Times of India, NGT has also derived a formula to penalise violators of Biomedical Waste Management (BMW) Rules, 2016. Type and size of the HCF and Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTF), Health Risk Factor of HCF, pollution index of CBWTF, environmental compensation factor of HCF and number of days of violation of HCF and CBWTF would be taken into account for penalising.
An order passed by Justice S P Wangdi of NGT while disposing of Jawaharlalâ€™s case said that environmental compensation for 30 days beyond target date would double between 30 to 60 days, go up to four times between 60-90 days and closure of the facility would be issued beyond 90 days.
CPCB had also said that the state is yet to file an inventory of biomedical waste generating healthcare facilities and is yet to provide authorisation of the non-bedded HCFs and veterinary hospital. Bar codes are also yet to be implemented for CBWTF.