New Delhi: Most of the Delhi hospitals, including the premier AIIMS, do not comply with the rules for collection and disposal of bio-medical waste, posing a serious threat to human health and environment, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today said.
The Tribal gave the 33 hospitals four weeks` time to comply with the directions of the Central Pollution Control Board or else the Director and Medical Superintendent of the respective hospitals will face prosecution.
"Majority of the hospitals in National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi are not complying with the biomedical waste rule and are thus posing a very serious threat to human health and environment," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The tribunal directed all the hospitals, 33 in number, which were found to be violating the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 to comply with the directions issued in that regard by a joint inspection team (JIT) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The NGT has given them four weeks time to comply with the directions of CPCB and the joint team, failing which the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and CPCB have been directed to "launch prosecution against the Director and Medical Superintendent of the respective hospitals".
The JIT, which comprises members from CPCB and DPCC, has been directed to inspect the 33 hospitals after expiry of the four weeks and submit a status report on whether the team`s recommendations have been complied with.
A JIT has to also mention in its report whether the collection and disposal of biomedical waste by these hospitals is in anyway likely to cause any health hazard.
The 33 hospitals also include, Safdarjung Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Harding Medical College, Indraprastha Apollo, Ram Manohar Lohia, Hindu Rao, St. Stephen?s Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre Ltd, etc.
The NGT`s order was passed after it went through a report submitted by the JIT which has stated that these hospitals are not following the bio-medical waste rules in its true spirit and substance.
The JIT in its report has also stated that in some hospitals like Hindu Rao, bio medical waste is being collected in open trolleys, while in others like Safardjung Hospital, Kalawati Swaran Childrens Hospitals and Lala Ram Swaroop Institute of Tuberculosis and Allied Diseases, there is no system to dispose of such waste as per the rules.
The NGT has also directed the DPCC to "place on record mercury phasing out programme for the hospitals which are still using mercury instruments like blood pressure measuring guage and thermometer etc."
"The report shall specifically state as to which of the hospitals have already dispensed with the use of mercury in their medical diagnosis and treatment," the tribunal said.
The CPCB as well as DPCC have also been directed "to identify the approved recycler of plastic waste".
"We make it clear that only those concerned units should be approved which are capable of strictly adhering to the collection, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste or the plastic waste as per the law," the bench said.
Meanwhile, Haryana government submitted that hospitals that they have inspected are complying with the biomedical waste rules and submitted a list of such hospitals.
The NGT has directed the JIT to inspect any five of the hospitals in the list furnished by the Haryana government.
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) also told the NGT that they have inspected 23 hospitals of which 20 are violating the biomedical waste rules with impunity and only three are following such rules.
After the submission was made, the NGT directed the UPPCB to launch prosecution against the 20 hospitals before the next date of hearing, on July 19, and to file its final report with regard to its inspection of various other hospitals in UP.
The NGT on April 23, 2013 had issued show cause notices to Max Super Speciality Hospital, Indraprastha Extension, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre Ltd, Okhla and three government hospitals -- Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Dr Hedgewar Arogya Sansthan and Lok Nayak Hospital for not strictly adhering to prescribed standards of collection and disposal of bio-medical waste.