When Shekar walked out of his house on Krishna Temple Road in Indiranagar 1st stage in Bengaluru on Thursday morning, he was greeted by a sight that he had often seen before. However, this time he decided against keeping quiet as he had been doing for months now.
Outside Shekar's house were two garbage bags that bore the logo from the neighbouring hospital, Dr Rama's Test Tube Baby Centre.
"While on Thursday it was only on the road, sometimes workers at the fertility center leave it on the passage between my house and the hospital," he said.
This is the second case being reported recently of irresponsible disposal of waste by a clinic or hospital in this part of Bangalore.
On April 19, the Facebook page Win Bangalore Back, had carried photographs of dentures and medical waste, allegedly from a clinic called Axiss Dental, disposed in a park in HAL 2nd stage.
Shekar informed the president of the resident welfare association of Indiranagar 1st stage, Sneha Nandihal, who posted pictures on Facebook and informed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officers concerned.
"They told me that they would be able to look in to the matter only after the Kempegowda Jayanthi celebrations," said Sneha adding that most medical centers that have opened up around the area are doing this.
“Hospitals must use safe disposal methods or must tie up with agencies that specialise in treating bio-medical waste. In Bengaluru, Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd or Maridi Eco Industries Pvt Ltd are among the popular options,” said Dr. Vedavathi, medical officer of health, BBMP (Banaswadi division).
On Friday, Vedavathi told The News Minute that they had imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on the hospital.
She further asserted, "We have ensured that all hospitals in Bengaluru have tied up with the bio-waste collecting agencies. However, a few hospitals might be violating the guideline."
"The hospital told me that the bag did not contain any bio-medical waste it was one of the workers who must have put regular waste into the bags that are meant for bio-medical waste," she added.
"Whether or not it contains bio-medical waste is immaterial. First, this should not be the way any waste is disposed off. Second, any kind of waste from a hospital will carry bacteria and infections, why should anyone be exposed to it?" asked Shekar adding that often patients even throw used tissue and other trash on his balcony.
"Perhaps paying Rs 5000 a month is too much for these small clinics and medical centers, they give it to the regular powrakarmikas who collect it for Rs 200 a month," alleged Shekar, who added that the hospital told him the agency they had tied up with for waste disposal had ask the hospital staff to keep the bags outside the hospital for collection.
Central government guidelines, issued in 2015 to hospitals, among other rules, also make it mandatory for the hospital to give proper training to staff.
When asked about the hospital creating a nuisance for neighbouring residents in other ways, such as with patients dumping bits of trash on their property, she said that the BBMP would organise a special inspection drive to check into this.
The News Minute could not get in touch with BBMP joint commissioner (health) Sarfaraz at the time of writing this article.