Hospitals and nursing homes in Haridwar are making mockery of Bio-medical Waste Management and Handling Rules, 1998. Non-segregation of bio-medical waste seems to have become a norm in the city. According to the rules, BMW should be segregated and disposed of in a proper manner lest it becomes a toxic bomb mixing with other wastes. The waste must be segregated into colored containers or bags meant for a particular type of waste as per the rules. This correspondent visited four hospitals of the city on Tuesday to find out whether they were following the rules or not and the results are shocking. Lack of awareness among the nursing and class four employees seemed to be behind the non-segregation. Speaking to The Pioneer, CMO Haridwar Dr H D Shakya said, “We have a regular system of disposal of bio- medical waste. The segregation of waste is done at all the three hospitals-District, Mahila and Mela hospitals. The deputed agency personnel come in vans and take the waste away in different disposable bags.”
However on physical inspection, it was found that many sanitation workers in the district hospital do not have an inkling of knowledge about the process of segregation of bio-medical waste into blue, red and yellow bags. Sheetal Devi-a sanitation worker at district hospital-said innocently, “The wastes being thrown together by the users, how can we segregate the waste in different bags? All injections and catheters are put together in the same bin and we empty these waste in the bigger bin, kept in the hospital.” It must be written here that this kind of negligence creates lots of health hazard in one form or the other and the need of the hour is to take a serious note of it. The same was found at Mela and Mahila hospitals where no one was segregating syringe, cotton and glass waste thrown at the disposal site to facilitate incineration of the bio-medical waste. The Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board is responsible for ensuring that the laws regulating collection, processing and disposal of BMW is followed properly.
Quizzed, the regional officer of Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board Pradeep Joshi said, “An agency MPCC in Bhagwanpur has been authorized to pick bio-medical waste from the hospitals. They are operating regularly. However, due to lack of awareness, the hospital staffers put all disposable syringes, gloves and infectious waste into the same bins. Segregation is not done properly and the collecting vans collect mixed waste in red blue and green containers. The hospital management must train their staff members for proper segregation.” Notably, the waste is divided into four categories and kept in four colored bags. Yellow bags contain infectious waste, bandages etc. while red bags contain catheters, injections etc. and the blue ones contain all types of glass and the black ones are meant for needles. – The Pioneer