The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will be joining hands with the Tamil Nadu government to find solutions for the disposal of Biomedical waste.
This is following a recent directive from the Southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to bring up a permanent solution to the issue of biomedical waste being dumped near the lakesides and rural areas of the state.
The NGT had recently taken cognizance of new reports on animals swallowing biomedical waste dumped near the lakeside and on the banks of rivers and wanted the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to provide a report on the same.
However, the TNPCB gave a clean chit and stated that the banks of the rivers and the lakes were clear and biomedical waste was not found. The NGT then directed the CPCB to intervene and said that the biomedical waste dumped across the banks of the rivers would have been cleared by the local bodies with the support of NGOs and other agencies.
It is to be noted that there are 10 biomedical waste treatment centres in Tamil Nadu but two of them were shut down following local issues. This includes one in The Nilgiris district and the other in the Ramanathapuram district. However, according to Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials, the treatment centres have more capacity than the biomedical waste generated per day.
A senior official with the TNPCB told IANS, “We were properly monitoring and clearing the biomedical waste. However, now the NGT has ordered monitoring by the CPCB and we welcome that.”
Environmentalists are however happy that the NGT has directed the CPCB to monitor biomedical waste.
Sujit Swaminathan, Director, of Action Force Against Pollutants (AFAP), a social organisation based out of Tirunelveli said, “We have been highlighting the issue of biomedical waste dumping across the banks of the lakes and rivers in the state. Luckily, after news media reports, the NGT bench has directed the Central Pollution Control Board to monitor the biomedical waste generation in the state and its treatment. We welcome this move as the CPCB has a well-defined structure and framework regarding such matters and this will be good for the bio-medical waste disposal of Tamil Nadu in the future.”
Several animal activists had also petitioned the state government, central government and the National Green Tribunal over the animals swallowing biomedical waste leading to several getting dead and many indisposed, including street dogs and other animals.
Arumugam. R, an animal rights activist of Karur said, “Several stray dogs died recently in Karur and neighbourhood and when we insisted on a postmortem it was found that the intestine of these animals was full of biomedical waste. The directive of the NGT in the matter is a welcome gesture and it will be nice to prevent the dumping of biomedical waste carelessly.”