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Biomedical waste disposal unit coming up at IGMC

A model stat-of-the-art facility would be set up at the state-run Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) here for the disposal of biomedical waste. A proposal has been sent by the Health Department to the Department of Environment and Science and Technology to address environmenta-lists' concerns.

“We have received a proposal from the Health Department and will soon take steps to set up the model state-of-the-art facility and make it operational in six months,” Director Environment,” Dr SS Negi said, adding that the facility would cost about Rs 2 crore and land for this purpose would be provided by the institution.

He said the problem of scientific disposal of biomedical waste in Himachal was a major challenge as 60 per cent of about 3,000 kg biomedical waste generated every day by health institutions in the state was buried deep in the soil while only 40 per cent waste was being incinerated.

Clear guidelines have been issued in the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, for the disposal of biomedical waste and identification of various kinds of biomedical waste as per degree of infection and toxicity and their segregation is important.

The quantum of biomedical waste generated every day is on the rise due to increase in population of patients and health care facilities (HCF). The biomedical waste, which was 1,278 kg per day in 2009, has increased to 2,858 kg per day in 2012 and the number of HCFs has gone up from 538 to 570 during this period.

There is an urgent need for improvement in biomedical waste management by enhancing the capacity of the agencies engaged in segregation, collection, packaging, transportation and storage of the waste.

Environment experts have stressed on regular monitoring and quality assessment of BMW, colour coding and labelling of infectious waste for segregation, collection and transportation, safety of handlers, use of robust and leak-proof containers and proper treatment and disposal of waste.

The Tribune (21-01-2014)