Chandigarh: In a bid to keep a tab on increasing level of pollution, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has issued directions to all the institutions generating biomedical waste to ensure handling of such waste without adversely affecting human health and environment.
According to officials concerned, apart from imposing heavy penalty on violators, they can be also awarded jail-term as per the provisions of Indian Penal Code.
“In case of non-compliance of Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1988, action can also be taken against government hospitals.
Punishment ranges from five-year imprisonment to a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh or both. In case the violation continues, it would then attract a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day up to one year and thereafter imprisonment up to seven years,” said an official spokesperson of HSPCB here today.
He added it was the duty of every occupier of an institution generating biomedical waste which included hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, animal houses, pathological labs, community health centres, primary health centres, slaughter houses, veterinary hospitals, dispensaries and blood banks to safely dispose of the biomedical waste.
“The biomedical waste is posing serious threat to environment and health of people. Unauthorised repackaging and sale of disposable items including needles can cause dreaded diseases like HIV..
Their dumping in municipal dustbins, open spaces and water bodies leads to the spread of diseases. Emissions from open burning also lead to exposure to harmful gases which could cause cancer and respiratory diseases,” added the spokesperson.
“There should be a common facility for safe disposal of bio-medical waste. Likewise health authorities are also required to develop common facility for disposal of bio-medical waste generated from government hospital and dispensaries,” he pointed out.
The Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1988 were framed under the provisions of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986.
The objectives of these rules were to stop indiscriminate disposal of hospital waste and bio-medical waste and ensure that such waste was handled without any adverse affect on the human health and environment.
These Bio-medical Waste Management Rules apply to all persons who generate, collect, receive, store, transport, treat, dispose or handle bio-medical waste in any form.