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Bio-medical waste moves 140 km for disposal

From Satara and Pimpri-Chinchwad to Taloja near Thane,at least 1,200 kg of bio-medical waste from Pune is transported every day for over 140 km for disposal.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
April 22, 2009 1:14:45 am

From Satara and Pimpri-Chinchwad to Taloja near Thane,at least 1,200 kg of bio-medical waste from Pune is transported every day for over 140 km for disposal. Ever since the disposal facility at Kailash crematorium in the city was shut down following a blast at the site,Pune’s bio-medical waste has had to travel to various places outside the city. The Taloja facility has been the destination for almost a month now.

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials had awarded the contract to Passco Environmental Solutions to upgrade the city’s bio-medical waste facility at Kailash crematorium. Passco is upgrading the Kailash facility at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore,but it will take another two months for the site to be ready for use. Till then,PMC officials have no option but take the waste miles away.

Dr D D Chandakkar,Deputy Health Officer,PMC told The Indian Express that both the disposal facilities at Satara and Pimpri-Chinchwad could not bear the extra load and hence the decision to send it all the way to Taloja. As many as 552 hospitals,10 blood banks,142 pathology laboratories and 246 dispensaries generate around 1.2 tonne bio-medical waste in the city each day.

This was being collected from 250 points in the city by Sun Enviro Limited that used to operate the incinerator at Kailash crematorium. With the shutdown of the facility since September owing to a blast at the site,an interim arrangement had been worked out and the waste was being disposed of at Satara,Pimpri-Chinchwad and Talegaon.

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The medical waste generated in Pimpri-Chinchwad is nearly 550 kg per day and the incinerator at YCM hospital at Chinchwad can take an extra load of only 300 kg,says Pradeep Mulay,Director of Passco Environmental Solutions.

Meanwhile,ever since the MPCB slapped showcause notices on more than 3,000 doctors for not obtaining authorisation under the bio-medical waste disposal scheme,the agency has been getting hundreds of applications from doctors.

P K Mirashe,regional officer of MPCB,Pune,said they had conducted a survey in December 2008 and January 2009 and identified the non-complying units. “We had issued showcause notices then and the action was rather strong — imprisonment for five years and a fine of Rs 1 lakh if they are not registered with the disposal scheme.”

According to Dr Avinash Bhondwe,former president of the city unit of Indian Medical Association,the showcause notices led to panic among doctors. A meeting held on Monday with various officials has now fixed the rates that will be levied from doctors and hospitals under the scheme.

The doctors now have time till May 5 to pay Rs 1,920 for a year as charges to the PMC for disposing of bio-medical waste. If they join the scheme after May 5 they will have to pay Rs 2,160. Additional waste disposal will be charged at Rs 22 per kg a month.

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