With its eco-friendly projects, the Dr R N Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle is showing the way to other civic hospitals in Mumbai. Expanding its eco-friendly measures, the hospital is now developing a vermi-compost plant, a sewage treatment plant, solar panels and a nursery and a tree plantation drive is underway on its 13-acre campus.
Although the hospital, commissioned with 580 beds in 2013, has not received the huge patient load it expected to reduce the burden on other tertiary care hospitals — Sion, Nair and KEM — it is leading the way in saving and recycling resources.
The hospital generates compost by collecting dried fallen leaves and diverting kitchen waste from residential quarters, kitchen and two canteens to a compost pit especially designed by BMC engineers. In a month. the waste is processed into manure that is used for maintaining the garden and the hospital nursery.
The hospital has planted over a 1,000 trees to create a green lung. “We get all dignitaries who visit the hospital to plant a new tree,” said hospital dean Dr Ganesh Shinde.
“The vermi compost pit is based on a model developed by the BMC. Usually, the worms and compost have to be separated by a spinning method. Our design does not require that effort,” said Subhash Dalvi, chief nodal officer of Swachh Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan, who handles the compost, along with a local self help group called Aastha.
There are three compost pits through which the kitchen waste is processed in four weeks. The concept is soon set to get replicated in Sion and Nair Hospitals where kitchen waste will undergo similar composting.
In addition, Cooper Hospital has installed 17 solar panels on the hospital and medical college’s roof that provide 27,000 litres of hot water every day for bathing patients, washing operation theatres and bed linen. “During the hospital’s construction, a plan for a sewage treatment plant was approved. The entire hospital’s sewage is directed towards the plant for purification,” said Dr Shinde.
Every day, as many as two lakh litres of sewage from residential quarters, hospital, medical college and electric yard is processed through a six-hour-long treatment. The treated water is diverted into gardens on the campus. “We plan to use treated water for flushing toilets. This will save a lot of water,” said BMC engineer Pandurang Lokhande.
The hospital boasts of being among the cleanest government hospitals. According to staffers, instructions have been given to all Class IV labourers to clean any tobacco spit as soon as they spot it. “We’ve had incidents where a patient’s relative has spit in a corridor’s corner. Our staff did not tell him anything, instead, wiped the tobacco marks. The relative got so embarrassed, he stopped spitting,” said Dr Shinde.
Staffers claim that once a corner is marked by tobacco spit, every passer-by spits there out of habit. “Lifts, staircases and corridor corners are common spots. But we don’t scold patients,” said Dinkar Naik, attached with the hospital’s administration. The hospital serves as the only medical college in the western suburbs. It, however, suffers from a shortage of Class IV employees, due to which a private company has been contracted to maintain cleanliness on the premises.
Plans are underway to create a room for lactating mothers to feed their babies. A room with a facility for diaper change will be allocated for this purpose.