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NGT issues notice to 4 states for non-compliance of order on disposal and burning of biomedical wastes

The National Green Tribunal bench headed by the Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Monday, 18th December in Shailesh Singh Vs Sheela Hospital and Trauma Centre & Ors, issued notice to the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand and the State Pollution Control Boards along with the erring Hospitals questioning the non-compliance of its order in an execution application on proper disposal and burning of biomedical wastes.

During the earlier hearing, the National Green Tribunal had admonished the governments of UP, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand over their failure to initiate action against hospitals and clinics improperly disposing and burning bio-medical waste in their respective states. The Tribunal had gone to the extent of threatening to take action against chief secretaries, secretaries of pollution control boards and director generals (health) of the four states and had thereby given them one day to file reports, stating what action had been taken by them against erring medical centres.

The petition was filed by Shailesh Singh, a Delhi based Journalist and Environmentalist who had sought closure of hospitals in only four districts of UP – Noida, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi and Bareilly – through four different petitions. But, looking at the gravity of the matter, Justice Swatanter Kumar had not only clubbed these four petitions, but also made three states Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana respondents in the case along with Uttar Pradesh.

Through his petition, Shailesh Singh had sought directives from the NGT to the UP government for closure of all hospitals and medical health care centers and BMW disposal plants which were not complying with Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) Management Rule, 2016 and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines. He had also sought constitution of a permanent independent committee of experts in order to ascertain and supervise the compliance of the norms.

Thereafter, on 15th November, the tribunal had put an immediate ban on the burning of bio-medical waste and laid down that action would be taken against officials of the district concerned, in case bio-medical waste is found being burnt, thrown in the open or sold to scrap dealers.

However the petitioner again submitted photographic and videographic evidences to show improper disposal of bio medical wastes by hospitals and treatment plants located in Ghaziabad, Noida and other districts of UP even after the NGT order.

According to the TOI, the petitioner had alleged “No hospital is following the NGT’s order. There has not been any change on the ground after November 15. We conducted a survey of our own and collected evidence from 40 hospitals in various districts of UP in this regard and once again filed an application under Section 25 (execution of award or order or decision) of the NGT Act. Looking at the photographs and videos, the tribunal bench headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued the notice to all four states.”

Read the order dated 15th November, 2017 below:

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Read the order dated 18th December, 2017 below:

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