Medical waste let into sewer: TNPCB

Several well-known private hospitals and government general hospitals in Chennai are releasing bio medical effluents from their operation theatres into the sewers.

Hospital waste including blood and urine samples and stained cotton are directly emptied into the sewage system without any treatment.

The TNPCB has revealed that more than 300 hospitals, including 15 government hospitals, continue to violate several norms even after repeated reminders to comply with rules.

TNPCB member secretary Mr S. Balaji said many multi-specialty hospitals failed to obtain authorisation to dispose bio medical effluents. “We have served notices now. If they continue to operate against the law, we will file a suit against them. This is not the first time that we have pulled up these medical institutions. This is our routine inspection to regulate waste management,” he said.
According to TNPCB officials, though detailed letters were sent to the city corporation and the health department in September, they did not get any responses. “We will close down the institutions which neglect our warnings,” they said, adding that there were private hospitals, which had violated important provisions of the Noise Regulation Act by operating generators with high decibels.

When contacted, health minister Dr V.S. Vijay said minor discrepancies in government institutions would be set right shortly.

A senior health department official said that biomedical wastes were handled in specialized centres by government hospitals.

“There might have been discrepancies in complying with provisions of air, water and noise regulation Acts. We will comply with the norms in a time-bound manner,” the officer said.

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