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342 hospitals violating waste disposal norms

Four major and 338 minor facilities are law breakers: Pollution Control Board

FOUR 100+ bed private hospitals and 338 smaller hospitals in the State are in violation of the rule that makes it mandatory for all government as well as private hospitals and nursing homes to link up with government-recognised Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBMWTF) for treating their solid bio-medical waste, raising dangers of infection.

The violation by the hospitals has been highlighted in an affidavit filed by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to High Court Lok Adalat recently. 
Even many clinics, diagnostic, pathology labs and blood banks that are required to send their solid waste to CBMWTF have failed to do so. 

Hence, KSPCB planned to make all the non-complying hospitals that came under the service of 14 CBMWTF services in the state, to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with nearest facilities by March, 2011. Also, the hospitals that did not have any facility nearby would be made to have captive facilities within early next year, the report said. Similar were the instructions for clinics, pathology labs, diagnostic centres and blood banks. 

Solid bio-medical waste comprises items contaminated with blood and body fluids including cotton, dressings, soiled plaster casts, linen bedding, other material contaminated with blood, wastes generated from disposable items other than the sharp waste (needle, glass) like tubings, catheters, intravenous sets, etc. Meanwhile, six out of the 14 CBMWTF have been directed to upgrade in line with the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines. 

Below capacity
The two Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities that collect the solid waste from the hospitals across the City are running below capacity. 

An official from Dobbespet-based Ramky Group, which collects solid bio-medical waste from around 400 hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, diagnostic labs, pathology centres and blood banks from North and West regions of Bangalore, said that although their incinerator had the capacity to handle 500 kg of waste per hour, the current load was only 60 per cent. 

“The availability is only that much. Almost all the hospitals and nursing homes are linked to our facility,” an official said. The facility gets around 2,000 kg of solid waste and even as waste coming from Tumkur district, with plans to tie up with Chikkballapur district. 
Even Mardi Eco Systems on Kanakapura Road revealed that the facility was running 40 per cent below capacity. 

“We cover East and South zones in Bangalore, apart handling waste from Mandya, Ramanagara and Kolar. On an average we get 3,500 kg of solid waste every day of which 3,000 is incinerable waste, while the rest are plastic and glass, which we disinfect, shred and send for recycling,” an official said. 

Status of solid biomedical waste management
Amenities                             number    linked to CBMWTFs    cF*    NCF*

Hospitals with >100 beds    104                82                         18     —
Hospitals with <100 beds    2486           1829                       319    —
Clinics                                           1385              850                      333    202
Pathology lab / 
diagnostic centres                    310              263                         28    19
Blood banks                                 35                27                           3      5

* CF Captive facilities; NCF No captive facilities

(Published in Deccan Herald on 28th November, 2010)

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