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Uttar Pradesh Not Ready For Covid Waste Management: Green Court

The tribunal was hearing a plea seeking action against non compliance of Bio-Medical Waste Rules.

New Delhi:

The National Green Tribunal has said that the Uttar Pradesh health department and the state pollution control board (SPCB)are not properly geared up for management of biomedical waste of COVID-19 patients.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that there is only one vehicle for COVID-19 waste collection from 876 Health Care Facilities in five districts of the state — Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Badaun, Pilibhit and Rampur.

“Their monitoring mechanism is inadequate. The maintenance of record is not as per norms. The collection and treatment of Bio-medical waste is deficient.

“There are no adequate safeguards for the workers involved in collection and treatment of the waste,” the bench said.

Referring to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the NGT said there is need for improvement in coordination process of the SPCB with Urban Local Bodies/Municipalities and generators of bio-medical waste.

“The deep burial pits used by the Facilities are also not adequate. Segregation of bio-medical waste from general waste and scientific treatment thereof needs to be improved,” the bench said in a recent order.

Since there are huge gaps in compliance of environmental norms in handling and disposal of bio-medical waste, including COVID-19 waste, causing health hazard to the citizens, the NGT said emergent and effective measures are inevitable to remedy the situation.

The tribunal formed two committees at state and district level for proper monitoring of the issue.

“The State and District Level Monitoring Committees will be free to co-opt any other experts/ agency for its assistance.

“The said Committees may also meet within two weeks in the first instance and thereafter the State Committee may once in a month and the District Committee once in a fortnight initially till the situation improves,” the bench said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea seeking remedial action against non compliance of Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) Rules, 2016 and for handling and treatment and disposal of waste generated during treatment/ diagnosis/ quarantine of COVID-19 patients.

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