Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding biomedical waste disposal, Delhi, 21/07/2020

  • 21/07/2020

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of M. C. Mehta Vs Union of India & Others dated 21/07/2020 regarding biomedical waste management.

The matter relates to dumping of biomedical waste in open areas in Delhi. It was pointed out, that biomedical waste of the corona patients was mixed with that of general patients and thrown in open. This could create havoc and thus its requisite treatment by incinators and disposal was required. Under the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2016, the individual hospitals can enter into a contract only with the State Pollution Board approved Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facility (the Contractor) who collects the waste from the hospitals and manages the disposal of the waste.

The tracking of biomedical waste generated, collected, processed and recycled needs to be improved urgently by adopting the bar-code system, as specified in the 2016 Rules which has not yet been implemented completely. It was mentioned in the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) report that one hospital in Meerut and two in Ghaziabad (Chhatrapati Shivaji Subharti Hosiptal, Paras Hospital and Lyf Hospital) had not adopted the bar code system.

The SC directed that a meeting of the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Board and EPCA and the requisite stakeholders of the concerned departments of the Central Government and Delhi Government and National Capital Region, including the representatives of the corporations be called for urgently within three days and steps be taken with respect to clearing bio-medical waste of various hospitals and that of Corona patients. The SC said that notice be issued to the hospitals and asked to ensure that that bio-medical waste was not dumped in the open area and properly segregated and disposed of.