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Waste management at Ernakulam medical college hospital not satisfactory

The State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Solid Waste Management and the Kerala State Pollution Control Board have found that the management of solid waste and septage at Government Medical College, Ernakulam, has not yet improved.

The shortcomings have been mentioned in the report on the waste management scenario submitted by the SLMC before the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal on January 29.

A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai, SLMC chairman, pointed out in his report that the healthcare facility was allowed to function as per the consent renewal order, which expired on June 30, 2018. The renewal application for the conditional consent was submitted on December 29, 2021. But it is pending for want of clarity on the installation of the sewage treatment plant (STP) as well as satisfactory treatment facilities, it said.

The report said that the STP was found to be only partially operational. The discharge of effluent was noticed through a small outlet opening into the playground on the campus. It was routed to the public drain by the side of NAD-Kalamassery road. The foul smell experienced at the spot was indicative of the fact that the discharge was from some damaged soak pit or due to the overflow of some septic tank, it said.

The board stated that no permanent distribution lines for satisfactorily discharging treated effluent were seen. Several flexible hoses were seen at the site. These may be temporary arrangements for transferring untreated sewage from primary collection tanks to different components of the STP, it said.

The board has recommended that the authorities need to ensure proper operation of all the components of the STP immediately. The flexible hoses have to be replaced by permanent fixtures.

The hospital authorities said that they have not seen the contents of the report prepared by the SLMC. “But we are in the process of completing the pending works of the STP. A few minor works have to be completed. Inkel, the agency responsible for executing the project, has submitted a revised estimate for carrying out the pending works,” they said. The Hindu

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