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Issue 4
, 2007
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Two-day workshop on medical, municipal waste held in Ranchi

Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2007

In continuation with its efforts to generate awareness and share knowledge on the issue of medical and municipal waste management, Toxics Link, in association with Rachi-based Nav Bharat Jagriti Kendra (NBJK), recently organised a two-day regional workshop in the Jharkhand capital.

Member Secretary, Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board, S. K. Singh said: “There is an imperative need for all civic bodies of the state to ensure that the wastes are disposed off in a scientific manner.”

According to a media report on the event, out of 46 civic bodies in the state, so far not a single one has taken the mandatory clearance from JSPCB to earmark land for disposing solid waste.

“We have constraints like infrastructure and manpower. But the civic bodies must take proper care to dump the garbage, keeping in mind the need to keep the environment clean,” Singh added.

A senior functionary of the NBJK, Smita Sinha, said that its “clean Jharkhand project” in collaboration with the Ranchi Municipal Corporation in the city was making good progress.

Under this project, 154 safai mitras (waste collectors) are collecting the waste from houses in 19 wards involving over 35,000 houses before it is disposed. The voluntary organisation has now started preparing a detail project report (DPR) in three other towns for starting similar projects. These towns include Chas, Hazaribagh and Lohardaga.

The workshop has good participation from both civil society groups and healthcare professionals.

The workshop was inaugurated by the Shri R.K. Srivastava, Secretary, Urban Department and Tilaswar Sahu, Chairman Jharkhand PCB.

The issue of biomedical waste was new to the region as there is a serious lack of awareness among participants as well as practitioners. The State Pollution Control Board displayed interest in training on the issue of biomedical waste management. Presentation made by government officials indicated that incineration is the sole practice for hospital waste disposal.

The NGOs who are involved in providing services of door to door collection also highlighted the great deal of mixing of municipal and biomedical waste in both Jharkhand and Bihar. Both the States have very poor compliance rate and only few private agencies received notices for non compliance. There are two Centralised facilities (One in Patna and one in Ranchi). Both the facilities are operating far below their capacity (less than 10 percent).

It is evident from the interactions with the participants and presentations that door-to-door collection by private agencies is only solution.