For the purpose of management of medical wastes the Government of India has enacted Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 . The enactment is a subordinate legislation under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
State Pollution Control Boards have been empowered to implement the same. Kerala State has prescribed the necessary fees for the purpose of registration under the act .
Kerala High Court had the occasion to issue direction to implement the said rules. The HC has held that it is the duty of the occupier of an institution generating bio-medical waste (which includes a hospital, nursing home, clinic, dispensary, veterinary institution , animal house, pathologics, laboratory , blood bank, etc) to take all steps to ensure that such waste is handled without any adverse effect to human health and environment.
The Rules suggest the installation of treatment facilities like incinerator, autoclave, microwave system for the treatment of waste. But these systems are found not suitable or scientifically hygiene. It is in these circumstances that Qualified Private Medical Practitioners and Hospital Association, Kerala (QPMPA) sponsored a study at the School of Environmental Studies. Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi. The Study Team of the School of Environmental Studies developed a complete management system of collection, processing and disposal of all the BM Wastes that are generated in hospitals. They developed a methodology after conducting research and with reference to the Rules. They are, "The Placents Anaerobic Bio-Reactor" (PAB) and "Body Parts Anaerobic Bio Reactor" (BPAB).
The Ombudsman for Local Self Government institutions has issued directions to the Local Authorities to issue directions to all the Hospitals and Health Care institutes to install in their respective areas, PAB and BPAB within a period of six months from the date of receipt of the direction.
Supreme Court of India has recently admitted a writ petition filed in public interest challenging the installation of incinerators for the disposal of Bio-Medical Waste and any other waste by way of burning technology. According to the petitioner, incineration is not healthy and it banned in several countries. The petition also sought for a direction for the closure of all the existing incinerators in various States.
SOME USEFUL LINKS
Bio Medical (Waste and Management) Rules, 1998
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