State launches special project for bio-medical waste disposal

Bhubaneswar: Concerned over the adverse environmental impact of disposal of infectious waste generated from health care units, the state government on Friday launched a special project for scientific and hi-tech disposal of bio-medical wastes at an investment of about $8 million.
The project, launched in assistance with Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Global Environmental Facility (GEF), would be implemented for five years, said forest and environment minister Bijayshree Routray after launching it.
"Yes, we have the mechanism for disposal of bio-medical waters in the state since five years. But this project will ensure that the wastes generated from health care units are disposed using a modern technology without burning.
The dispoal of bio-medical waste will be of high standard at par with one done in USA and Eoropean countries," he said.
Improper disposal of bio-medical wastes causes release of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP), pointed out Dr Subba Rao, director, MoEF, adding that reduction and ultimate elimination of POPs was an obligation for India under the Stockholm Convention.
"The project has been formulated to promote Best Available Technology and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) in the health care institutions," said S P Dhua, regional coordinator of UNIDO.
Besides Odisha, the special project would be implemted in Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharastra and Punjab. Altogether, 40 million USD would be invested in the project, he said.
To begin with, according to Odisha Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Siddharth Das, 30 leading hospitals will be taken on pilot basis. Those health care units will be assisted with technology and equipments on treating the disposal in a complete scientific manner.
"The project will certainly help develop quality of bio-medical waste disposal in the state," said Mahesh Agarwal, the managing director of Sani Clean Pvt, Limited, the lone common facility provider in the state.