CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) will be taking stringent action against those hospitals and clinics in the state that dump their biomedical waste in public places.
There have been several instances of biomedical waste being strewn in public places including national highways where there is less movement of people and traffic at night.
The TNPCB has commenced a detailed inquiry after 200 MT of a mixture of medical and solid waste was found at Ponniyaman Koil street in Iyyapathangal in Chennai.
Biomedical waste, according to pollution control board officials, comprises syringes, tubes, medical tablets, and other medical waste.
Bhaskaran from the Pollution Control Board office in Sriperumbadur told media persons: "We could not find prescription slips or hospital logo on the biomedical waste. We have informed the Iyyappathangal panchayath officials to direct sanitary workers not to collect biomedical waste from houses that are handed over in small carry bags."
However, social activists said that TNPCB has to be more proactive in preventing biomedical dumping of wastes and that stringent action must be taken against hospitals that dump waste in public places and that too in huge quantities.
R.M. Arumughasamy, social activist and Director, Centre for Environmental and Pollution Studies, an NGO based out of Chennai, told IANS: "The TN pollution control board must not shy away from its responsibilities. There has to be stringent dictum on hospitals and clinics that there should not be any dumping of biomed wastes in public places and that they should be destroyed using proper process."
TNPCB member secretary R. Kannan told mediapersons: "We need the full support and cooperation of local bodies and village panchayaths as they are the eyes and ears of the area. They have to report to us whether any hospitals or clinics were involved in dumping biomed waste in public places. If they point out the concerned hospital or clinic, we will take steps to shut down that hospital or clinic with immediate effect."
Areas where the biomedical waste is dumped without any hindrance are Manivakam lake in Vandalur outer ring road, near a private college besides Chembarambakam Lake, various locations near Adayar river, Nazarathpettai near Poonamalle municipality.