Cuttack: Disposable bio-medical waste materials used by the health professionals attending to Coid-19 patients were found dumped in an open space at the Mahanadi river bed here at Jagatpur industrial area, ringing alarm bell over the possible contamination and spread.
According to reports, used Covid kits like PPE, masks, face shields and other waste materials were found piled up on the river bed for last several days. Some of them were also found floating in the river.
Locals have been noticing the articles for the last few days. However, somebody set afire the bio-medical waste last night.
Dumping of the dangerous waste has been resented local residents, who demanded immediate investigation and action.
“These waste materials have been disposed off on the river bed which is closed to human settlements. We have been noticing these items piled up for last several days. But, last night somebody set them on fire,” a local resident said, demanding proper investigation into the unlawful activities.
He apprehended that the disposal of used covid kits would add to the further spread of the coronavirus in the slum areas which are in close proximity to the Mahanadi river bed.
“If the administration doesn’t take any step to prevent such activities, we will take to the streets, he warned.
Another resident said “Some of the used PPE kits and masks, face shields are thrown into the river water. So, the water may get contaminated. It will further increase the chances of infections as many people in the lower catchment areas depend on the river water for daily use.”
“We don’t know the person/s who abandoned these waste materials, but it is clear these are from the covid hospitals,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cuttack-Barabati MLA Md Moquim expressed concern over poor waste management system in covid hospitals.
In a tweet, he urged the civic body authorities to look into the matter seriously.
“Dumping of hazardous Covid bio-medical waste on Mahanadi river bed can turn to be highly dangerous for the denizens! The waste has also made its way into the river! Requesting @CMCCuttack & @AnanyaDasIAS ji to personally look into this on priority for the safety of the denizens.”
Similar sights have been seen in the State Capital too two days ago. Used PPE kits, masks and face shields were found dumped at various places in Bhubaneswar including airport area, railway station and cremation ground areas.