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NGT orders inspection of biomedical waste plants

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered inspection of plants which treat waste in the hospitals of the National Capital Delhi and ensure proper segregation, collection and disposal of such waste.

The waste plants will be inspected by joint inspection team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

The NGT also directed the team to submit report about manner in which bio-medical waste was being handled by hospitals and situation prevailing in medical institutions adversely affecting human health and environment.

Earlier the tribunal had asked hospitals and clinics to ensure proper collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical waste.

What is Bio-medical waste?
  • Bio-medical waste is any solid or liquid waste including its container and any intermediate product generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or research activities.
  • Biomedical waste poses hazard due to two principal reasons – toxicity and infectivity. Bio Medical waste consists of human anatomical waste like organs, tissues and body parts, waste sharps like hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpels and broken glass, discarded medicines and cytotoxic drugs, liquid waste from any of infected areas etc.
  • In 2016, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had issued new Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 for proper discarding of the bio-medical waste.
  • In India, total bio-medical waste generated is 484 tonnes per day (TPD) from 1,68,869 healthcare facilities (HCF), out of which 447 TPD is treated.

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NGT bans open waste burning across the country

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open places across the country and announced a fine of Rs. 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning.

The green panel’s judgement was given on the petition seeking directions to local bodies in states and Centre for improving solid waste management methods.

NGT Judgement
  • Complete prohibition on open burning of waste on lands, including at landfill sites.
  • For each such incident, violators will pay environmental compensation of Rs. 5,000 in case of simple burning and Rs. 25,000 in case of bulk waste burning,
  • States and UTs to enforce and implement Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in a time-bound manner.
  • Union Environment Ministry and all States must pass appropriate directions in relation to the ban on short-life Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and chlorinated plastics within a period of six months.
  • Establish and operationalise of plants for processing and disposal of the waste and selection and specifications of landfill sites
  • Non-biodegradable waste and non-recyclable plastic should be segregated from the landfill sites. It must be used for construction of roads and embankments in all road projects all over country.

About National Green Tribunal (NGT)

NGT is a statutory body established by a Government Notification using the powers of Section 3 of the NGT Act 2010. It is a special fast-track court to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It has been established to assure the right to a healthy environment to the citizens of India as enshrined in Article 21 of Constitution.

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India fifth largest producer of e-waste: Assocham-KPMG Study

As per recent study conducted by Assocham-KPMG, India has emerged as the world’s fifth largest electronic waste (e-waste) producer.

India discards roughly 18.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste each year and telecom equipment alone accounts for 12% of it.

Key facts

  • The study has highlighted the concern of rising levels of e-waste generation in India in recent years.
  • India being world’s second largest mobile market with 1.03 billion subscribers, nearly 25% of it end up in e-waste annually.
  • The unorganised sector in India is estimated to handle around 95% of the e-waste produced in the country.
  • The study has suggested that e-waste collection targets implemented in a phased manner under the current policy should set lower and practically achievable target limits.
  • Also, detailed implementation procedures for collection of e-waste from the market need should be prescribed and followed.

Current Policy on e-waste management

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified e-waste management rules, 2016.
  • These rules for the first time have time covered under extended producers’ responsibility (EPR) of electronics producers.
  • It has prescribed a waste collection target of 305 e-waste generated under EPR for the first two years (till 2016) and it will progressively go up to 70% in the seventh year of the rule.
  • These rules also have prescribed stringent financial penalties for non-compliance.

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