Bio-medical waste piles up at 1,500 Thane health care units

June 18, 2022

THANE: The agency deployed for collection and disposal of bio-medical waste from nearly 1,500 health care units in Thane abruptly stopped its services from Thursday, citing orders from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), representatives of the city medical fraternity said.

Meanwhile, even as a new agency that was pulled in at the last minute (Friday), there was a disagreement over rates charged by it from the health care units due to which several tons of bio-medical waste was left lying within the premises of hospitals and pathology labs for the last two days posing health hazards.

The Thane chapter of the Indian Medical Association, which was coordinating with the municipal corporation over the sudden developments said it was hopeful the issue would be resolved by Saturday.

The city generates nearly two tonnes of bio-medical waste daily which was till date incinerated at the existing facility near the Kalwa municipal hospital. The existing contractor had a contract with the Thane corporation to collect and dispose the waste till 2027, informed officials. “The contractor didn’t lift the waste but a new agency has been brought in by the corporation at our request,” said president Dr Santosh Kadam.

Meanwhile, doctors also expressed concern over the silence of the corporation in the matter. “This is absolute callousness on the part of the Thane corporation as doctors and hospitals weren’t aware of the situation till the contractor emailed us. Stocking bio-medical waste for longer periods is hazardous,” said Dr Mahesh Bedekar.

Meanwhile, the contractor EnviroVigil claimed it alerted all health care units on Thursday about his inability to lift the bio-medical waste with immediate effect. V Walawalkar , who operates the facility told TOI that he received a notice from the MPCB asking him to stop operations with immediate effect citing non-compliance to the new norms. He said he was planning to upgrade his facility and the sudden termination was unjust and would seek legal help. When contacted, a senior municipal official admitted that the bio-medical waste wasn’t lifted in the two days but said the issue would be resolved by Saturday.

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