Govt hospitals violate norms, install incinerators without SPCB approval

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Pardeep Singh Bali

In a major embarrassment to the state government over utilization of funds, the indifferent approach of the authorities to install Bio Medical Waste (BMW) incinerators at the government SMGS hospital and CD hospital Jammu without obtaining approval from State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and subsequent inaction to operate the incinerators resulted in unfruitful expenditure of Rs 54.21 lakh.

According to the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) the installation of bio medical waste BMW incinerator should be allowed only after the approval is granted by the concerned SPCB. Medical superintendents of Maharaja Gulab Singh hospital, Shalimar, Jammu and Government chest disease hospital Jammu approached (dec-2012) regional director SPCB, Jammu for grant of approval and issuance of ‘no objection certificate’ for replacement of old inclinators with new ones.

The official data revealed that without approval of SPCB the contract for supply, installation, testing and commissioning of 50 kg/hour capacity incinerator at SMGS hospital Jammu and 25 kg/hour capacity incinerator at CD Hospital Jammu was finalized in January 2013 by the chief engineer, Mechanical Engineering Department Jammu at cost of R 53.65 lakh and in March 2013 by the executive engineer at a cost of Rs 4.90 lakh.

The document further states, the suppliers installed the equipment in March 2013 and payment of Rs 51.71 lakh was released in their favour. Further an expenditure of Rs 90000 and Rs 1.60 lakh was incurred on allied works (replacement of CGI sheets, painting etc) at SGMS Hospital and CD hospital Jammu, respectively.

Though the incinerators were installed in 2013, but could not be put to use for over two years for want of approval of the SPCB.  “SPCB authorizes repeatedly informed the hospital authorities to apply with a requisite documents for grant of mandatory clearance to operate the incinerators,” states official document, adding, “The hospital authorities belatedly applied with the requisite documents for the grant of permission to operate the incinerators.”

However, during investigation both the cases were found deficient by the SPCB in treatment and final disposal if scrubbed water generated from air pollution control device of the incinerators.

“The SPCB had observed that no proposal for installment of effluent treatment plant for treatment of liquid waste generated from the hospitals had been furnished by the hospital authorities,” asserted SPCB official, adding the SPCB had not granted permission to operate the incinerators.

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