The Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) said on Tuesday that it was issuing notices to 1,800 healthcare centres in the state, which have failed to comply with the norms laid down for bio-medical waste disposal, warning them of closure.
Ashok Kumar Ghosh, the chairman of the BSPCB, said these centres, in six districts of the state, were being served a ”proposed closure direction” with a 15-day window to ensure abidance of the rules set for the disposal. ”If these 1800 health care facilities or centers fail to adhere to the norms pertaining to scientific storage, transportation and treatment of medical waste at Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTF) in the state within 15 days, the BSPCB will order their closure.
”The board will also request the power distribution companies to cut off electricity supply to these healthcare units under such circumstances,” Ghosh told PTI.
He said Patna has the maximum number of erring healthcare units, adding that other districts where rules were being flouted are Bhojpur, Buxar, Nalanda, Rohtas and Kaimur.
The board was forced to take this “harsh step” as the medical centres, despite repeated reminders, did not make amends, Ghosh stated.
”District Magistrates (DMs) concerned have been given intimation about the notices being sent to these erring medical centers in their respective districts, said the board chairman.
BSPCB scientist Dr Naveen Kumar said non-compliance with waste disposal rules could pose a severe threat to human and environmental health.
”All medical establishments in the state must comply with bio-medical waste management rules, 2016. Non-adherence to the rules is a serious offence,” Kumar told PTI.
A CBWTF is a set-up where biomedical waste from health care facilities is imparted necessary treatment to reduce adverse effects that it may pose on human health and the environment, the scientist explained.
”The board has time and again instructed hospitals, nursing homes and other medical establishments across the state to get their biomedical waste treated at authorised CBWTFs in Patna, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur and Gaya.
”These CBWTFs send their vehicles to health centers for collection of waste which is then disposed of at designated sites following rules. Some health centers, however, ignore these norms and dispose of biomedical wastes at public places, endangering lives of people,” he added.