UNIDO to fund $ 2-lakh project for proper bio-medical waste treatment

DMCH

To reduce Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) from biomedical waste, the United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) has launched a project titled 'enviornmental sound management of medical waste' in five states including Punjab. The project was launched Tuesday from Ludhiana.

As per UNIDO and ministry of environment and forest, poisonous gases like dioxin and furane are still being emitted from biomedical waste treatment plants and black ash was found in all the incinerators surveyed by the teams. Other states in the project include Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Orissa.

"The total cost of the project is estimated to be $ 40 million for a period of five years, out of which global environmental facility (GEF) is financing $ 10 million and the rest is to be raised through co-financing," said Erlinda Galvan, Industrial development officer UNIDO. The Ministry of environment and Forest (MoEF) is the co-ordinating agency.

UNIDO will be investing

$ 2,00,000 in Punjab, but it will be in the form of manpower or facilities, no money will be given to officers

Experts said that segregation of the waste is not being done properly and till date many hospital staff are not aware of the colours of the bins in which the waste is to be dumped as per the rules.

Dr S P Dhua, MoEF, said: "Naked hands are used for segregation and we surveyed the incineration process in different parts of the country and found black ash every where. The waste can be treated through microwaves as well and it works well in reducing POPs. Four model hospitals will be given microwaves for biomedical waste treatment so as to find the difference."

"The required 1,000 degree Celsius temperature is not maintained in incinerators as per our survey," he added.

Dr M Subha Rao, director MoEF, said: "Before formation of Bio-medical Waste Act, it was not being treated at all and being dumped along with the domestic garbage. I strongly believe that diseases like HIV, Hepatitis A, B and C appeared because of improper management of bio-medical waste."

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