EVEN AS more than two years have passed after the Centre issued new guidelines for having a common biomedical waste treatment facility in all states, nothing has happened on this count in the city.
In 2014, the Ministry of Environment & Forests had issued fresh guidelines to all the states, stating that there should be a common facility for the city hospitals for disposal of biomedical waste.
A senior health official said that the process for the common facility had suffered over the last few years due to several issues. “Initially, the former Punjab and Haryana Governor didn’t give his nod for the land which was identified,” said a health official. “Then there were administrative delays. Currently, there is not much progress regarding the start of the facility.”
Some officials from the health department believe that the delay is due to the “implementation” issues. “Yes, we have been working on it for a long time now, but there were some issues, which caused the delay,” the official told Chandigarh Newsline. “We are hopeful that we will have this facility soon because the UT Administration is keen to have it.”
While the Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, have their own facilities, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, is disposing of the waste with the help of PGIMER.
When contacted, UT health secretary Anurag Aggarwal told Chandigarh Newsline the process was on to make a common “bio-medical waste” treatment facility for the city hospitals and it would be done “very soon”.
Aggarwal said that a committee had been constituted for the project. “Tenders will be invited for setting up the common treatment facility,” he said, adding that one acre of land at Dadu Majra had been allocated for the plant.
AT GMSH-16, where the plant was installed in 2002, Aggarwal said the health department would install a new treatment plant. “We have a treatment plant for the hospital. But it needs to be replaced, and we have called the tenders for the same,” he said.
The delay in setting up of the common biomedical waste facility has affected the GMCH-32. Officials at the hospital said since the hospital didn’t have its own facility, it had to “give lakhs of rupees to PGI for the disposal of the waste”. “If there is a common facility, there will be generalised rates for all the hospitals,” said an official from the hospital.