Accepting a report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) suggesting environmental compensation of Rs 1200 per day for any healthcare facility violating Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, the National Green Tribunal has directed all States and Union Territories to monitor the bio-medical waste management or else cough up compensation of Rs 1 crore per month till the non-compliance continues in their territories.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel directed "The States/UTs may furnish complete inventory of HCFs (Healthcare Facilities) and BMW generation within two months and where the inventories are incomplete, the same may be completed.
"We place on record our disapproval of the inaction of States in furnishing the inventory studies as well as for incomplete inventories. It is regretful to note that 25% of identified HCFs have not even taken authorization from the concerned State PCBs in absence of which, monitoring of waste management is not taking place. The States which have not set up common treatment and disposal facility must do so within two months as per Rules.
The bench then went on to add, "It is made clear that if even after two months the States/UTs are found to be non-compliant, the compensation will be liable to be recovered from the said States/UTs at the rate of Rs. 1 Crore per month till the non-compliance continues".
The Tribunal was hearing a petition moved by Shailesh Singh who had been seeking closure of Healthcare Establishments engaging in unscientific disposal of bio-medical waste in violation of Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
While the petition was related to State of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand, its scope was widened to cover other states and Union Territories.
As the previous orders of the NGT remained on papers, the CPCB placed a report before the bench wherein it recommended Environmental Compensation for Healthcare Facilities.
It proposed the formula for calculation of Environmental Compensation for HCFs as = HR x T x S x R x N where HR – Health Risk factor, T- Type of Healthcare Facility, S – Size of Health Care Facility, R – Environmental Compensation factor, N – Number of days of Violation, HR Health Risk (HR) is a number from 0 to 100 and increasing HR value denotes the increasing degree of health risk due to improper handling of BMW in healthcare facility.
"…in any case minimum Environmental Compensation in respect to Healthcare Facility shall not be less than Rs.1200 per day".
With no party objecting to the CPCB report, the Tribunal accepted the same.