Biomedical waste plagues Dhanbad

The Telegraph | Feb 12, 2020

Tender for the procurement, installation, operation and maintenance of the incinerator issued on June 4

An incinerator to burn huge amounts of of biomedical wastes, which the Dhanbad Municipal Corporation had proposed to set up at Jitpur in Jharia, is hanging in balance since last year.

The incinerator, expected to come up at a cost at a cost of around Rs 4.75 crore on two acres of land identified in Jitpur locality, is awaiting funds approval from the District Mineral Foundation Trust.

A tender for the procurement, installation, operation and maintenance of the incinerator of 1,000 tonne per day capacity, for a period of three years, was issued on June 4, 2019, by the DMC. Two bidders of Gujarat, Global Engi-Tech and Shreejee Pharamatech had applied. But the tender process could not be completed due to lack of funds.

Talking to The Telegraph on Tuesday, Jay Kumar, who is the councilor of ward 40, said they had done everything at their end. “We had identified land away from human habitation at Jitpur locality to set up the incinerator after carrying out a survey for several months with the aim of solving of the problem of disposal of biomedical waste of 294 big and small hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories of Dhanbad and Bokaro. But the fund crisis is coming in the way,” Kumar said.

Municipal commissioner Chandramohan Kashyap said they were awaiting for fund release from the District Mineral Foundation Trust to set up the incinerator. “We have written to DMFT authorities on this.”

Bal Kishun Munda, Dhanbad deputy development commissioner, who is also a member of District Mineral Foundation Trust, however denied this, “We have not yet received any letter,” he said.

He added that the incinerator would have handled discarded medicines, cytotoxic drugs, biomedical waste items contaminated with blood and body fluids including cotton, dressings, plaster casts, as well as used needles, syringes, scalpels and blades.

The incinerator would have also disposed biomedical waste, including animal tissues, organs, body parts, caracasses of animals used in research, waste generated by veterinary hospitals.

At present, hospitals of Dhanbad, including the state-run Patliputra Medical Medical College and Hospital, claimed that had a tie-up with private agency for the treatment of their biomedical waste at the Bio Genetic Laboratory at Ramgarh, around 120km from Dhanbad.

The Ramgarh lab collects waste from respective hospitals once in a week.

According to Section V of Biomedical Waste (management and handling) Rules, 1998, open dumping of biomedical waste by hospitals is prohibited and a fine worth Rs 1 lakh of imprisonment up to Rs 5 lakh or both is to be imposed if the hospital violated the provisions of the Biomedical Waste (management and handling) Rules, 1998.