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Madras HC issues notice to TN govt over medical waste discharge

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday served notice to the state government in a plea seeking appropriate action to permanently prevent the flow of untreated liquid medical waste discharged from Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai, into Vaigai river, especially at Alwarpuram.

The petitioner M Nagarajan alias Vaigai Nagarajan of Madurai and founder of ‘Vaigai Nathi Makkal Iyakkam,’ stated that the Vaigai river is the main source of water for Madurai Corporation.

He said the Government Medical College Hospital generates large amount of medical waste, including liquid medical waste that could be considered as infectious and bio-hazardous, like spinal fluids, blood, dialysis waste, saliva, amniotic fluids, etc. They are directly discharged without treatment into Vaigai river near Alwarpuram where Lord Kallazhagar enters the river during the annual Chithirai festival.

Moreover, Madurai Corporation has also been letting out untreated sewage waste from the pumping station on the Government Rajaji Medical College Hospital campus into Vaigai for years. Moreover, a sewage treatment plant available in the hospital is not working due to inadequate power supply.

Therefore, failure in operation of the sewage treatment plant in the hospital led to the mixing of untreated medical waste into Vaigai river.

Already an STP near Alwarpuram is not working to its fullest capacity, now it’s all set to be demolished as it comes in the path of Goripalayam flyover project. Certainly, it would increase the flow of sewage into the Vaigai river. Citing these, the petitioner sought direction to ensure that no drainage or sewage should be let into the Vaigai river.

A division bench comprising Justice GR Swaminathan and Justice B Pugalendhi after hearing the case through video conferencing directed the state government to respond and adjourned the case until the first week of June. dtnext

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