MPCB asked to verify if COVID waste is being directly disposed at Kalyan dumping yard
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Taking serious congizance of the alleged dumping of bio medical waste of material used in treating Covid patients is being dumped at Adharwadi dumping ground in Kalyan, the Bombay High Court has ordered the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to inspect the site. The HC has also ordered the authorities to place on record if guidelines for disposing Covid waste (bio medical waste) are being implemented in letter and spirit.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta heard a PIL filed by activist Kishor Sohoni, seeking directives to the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to stop dumping Covid waste at the Adharwadi dumping ground.

"The bench has taken serious cognizance of the matter and has asked the KDMC, State, MPCB and the central pollution control board (CPCB) to file their replies in the matter. The MPCB has been asked to inspect the site and submit a report of the same within two weeks," said advocate Sadhana Kumar, representing Sohoni.

According to the PIL, "The authoirites have been dumping of bio medical waste from COVID 19 hospitals without treating the same. The bio medical waste of COVID 19 hospitals are directly being dumped regularly in the Aadharwadi dumping ground, which is very dangerous considering the spread and intensity of the COVID 19."

The plea further alleged that the KDMC authorities have not been implementing the Bio- Medical Waste Management Rules and also the CPCB guidelines regarding disposal of Covid waste.

Notably, bio medical waste is any waste that is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunisation of human beings, animals or research activities etc. It could include human tissues, items contaminated with blood, body fluids like dressings, plaster casts, cotton swabs, beddings contaminated with blood or body fluid, blood bags, needles, syringes or any other contaminated sharp object.

"The rules make it mandatory to treat the bio medical waste from the hospitals before dumping it. And as per the CPCB guidelines, the waste will have to be collected and stored separately prior to handing over the same to the Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF)," the plea points out.

"It also provides for using dedicated collection bin labelled as COVID-19 to store Covid waste and keep separately in a temporary storage room prior to handing over to the authorised staff of the CBWTF. Biomedical waste collected in such isolation wards can also be lifted directly from ward into CBWTF collection van," the plea adds.

Having heard the contentions, the judges have asked all the authorities to file their say in the matter.

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