The Orissa high court on Friday directed the State Pollution Control Board to initiate criminal proceedings against seven district headquarter hospitals for continuous violation of Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules. “The division bench of Justice L Mohapatra and Justice I Mohanty has directed the board to file criminal cases against the in-charges of bio-medical waste management at the district hospitals of Angul, Dhenkanal, Bhadrak, Balasore, Boudh, Deogarh and Sambalpur under the Environment Protection Act, 1988,” said amicus curie P R Das.
The directive came in the wake of a petition filed by a social organization, Maitree Sansad. It has alleged that these hospitals have been long flouting biomedical waste handling rules. Even the high court-appointed advocate’s committee had visited these hospitals and found deficiencies in the biomedical waste disposal system. Warnings were also issued to these hospitals but nothing was done by them to improve the situation, stated the amicus curie.
He further said the hospitals dumped the biomedical waste in a haphazard and improper manner, which is extremely dangerous from health point of view. “We had submitted our report before the high court and taken strong note of the report that the court has directed the SPCB to file criminal cases against these hospitals,” added Das.
The board had filed criminal cases against the superintendents of three government medical colleges in 2010 for violating the biomedical waste management rules.