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HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE

BIO-Medical Waste Disposal

New Delhi: December 11,2012

As per the Annual Report Information on Bio-medical Waste Management for the year 2010 received from the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) /Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) and Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS), as compiled by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), about 355 tons of bio-medical waste per day were generated from 1,39,594 Health Care Facilities (HCFs) in the country.

Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India in exercise of the powers conferred under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, notified Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules in 1998 (BMW Rules), as amended in the years 2000 & 2003, to provide a regulatory framework for segregation, transportation, storage, treatment and disposal (either through on-site treatment facilities or through common bio-medical waste treatment facilities) of the bio-medical waste generated from HCFs. The purpose of these rules is to ensure effective management of Bio-medical Waste in the country without causing any adverse effect to human health and the environment.

As per Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) in the States and Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) in the Union Territories (UTs) and DGAFMS in case of Armed Forces Health Care Establishments are the ‘prescribed authorities’ for enforcement of these Rules.

Further based on Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, National Guidelines on Hospital Waste Management were released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and distributed to all States/Union Territories in 2002 for implementation.

A National Policy document and Operational Guidelines for Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres and Sub-centres developed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was released in the year 2007 for proper Bio-medical Waste Management in these facilities. Guidelines to reduce environmental pollution due to Mercury in Central Government Hospitals and Health Centers were released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in March 2010. The aforesaid guidelines have been included in the Indian Public Health Standards for Health Care facilities as revised in the year 2012.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has prescribed guidelines for Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities as well as for design and construction of Incinerators, environmentally sound management of Mercury Waste generated from HCFs, etc.

Over the last three years, there is a considerable progress in compliance to the BMW Rules in view of the actions initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare/CPCB/Ministry of Environment and Forests and State Governments in the form of issuing guidelines, organizing trainings or awareness workshops, interactions with the monitoring of Common Biomedical Treatment Facilities (CBWTFs) Operator, directions issued to some of the Health Care Facilities (HCFs) and CBWTFs for violations of the provisions of the BMW Rules.

It is also evident that there is a decrease in quantity of Bio-medical waste generation from 405 tons per day in the year 2009 to 355 Tons per day in the year 2010 to which can be attributed to the proper segregation of waste at source of generation of the Bio-medical waste.

Also, as per the annual report for the year 2010, 302 out of 355 tons per day of bio-medical waste generated is treated and disposed of in compliance with the BMW Rules. About 20,228 HCFs are having captive treatment facilities and at present, 188 number of Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTFs) are in operation (17 CBWTFs, under construction) which are providing treatment services to 98,764 number of HCFs.

This information was given by Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

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