The Madras High Court on Monday, 5 August, directed the Tamil Nadu Health Secretary and the state pollution control board to inspect all medical institutions in the state once in two months to ensure implementation of Bio Medical Waste Management Rules.
A division bench, comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad, issued the directive based on a public interest litigation (PIL) of Dr J Umarani.
The PIL sought a direction to the state and central authorities to take appropriate steps on managing bio medical waste by issuing licence to any person or concern.
According to the petitioner, the central government had issued a notification of the rules with respect to the mandatory treatment of such waste but in Tamil Nadu these were not being followed.
The bio medical waste was not being treated as per the provisions of Bio Medical Waste Rules 1989 as amended in 2019, and this was posing a serious threat to the environment and health of the public, the petitioner said.
It was further alleged there were no separate provisions made in any hospitals towards collection of the waste, its segregation, packing or transportation.
When the matter came up for hearing, the Tamil Nadu government and the TNPCB submitted that a committee was formed and also a government order had been issued in this regard.
Also, there were sewerage treatment plants in various government-run hospitals under the direct control of the directorate of medical education.
The bench then directed the authorities to ensure proper functioning of the sewerage treatment plants in addition to directing the committee as well as the health secretary and TNPCB to make a periodical inspection once in two months of all the medical institutions to ensure implementation of waste management rules.
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