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Plea In Delhi High Court Says Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities Can't Be Established On Private Lands

Akshita Saxena
7 Oct 2021 11:42 AM GMT
Plea In Delhi High Court Says Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities Cant Be Established On Private Lands
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The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a petition against establishment of Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities in the national capacity on private lands. "Functioning of CBMWTF is a heavy-duty facility which needs to strictly comply with environment protection norms for safeguarding the public health and climate change. Hence, the said activity cannot be delegated to...

The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a petition against establishment of Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities in the national capacity on private lands.

"Functioning of CBMWTF is a heavy-duty facility which needs to strictly comply with environment protection norms for safeguarding the public health and climate change. Hence, the said activity cannot be delegated to a private entity, when the statutory rules does not envisage the same," the plea states at the outset.

It avers that the tender floated by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee requiring private interested vendors to provide the site for setting up of CBWFTF is thus violative of the Bio-Medical Waste Management and Handling Rules, 2016 made under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh stated that it has gone through the averments made in the petition and deems it fit to issue notice to all the Respondents.

Accordingly, the Central Government, the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Government have been served notices returnable on November 30.

The plea states that allotment of tender for establishment on a privately owned land is absolutely in contravention of Central Government rules framed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

"Firstly, the terms of the Tender Document is in contravention to Rule 17 read with Schedule III of the Bio-Medical Waste Management, Rules, 2016 which embodies that for setting up of Centre for Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities the department in the business allocation of land assignment shall be responsible for providing suitable site for setting up of common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facility …," the plea states.

It adds,

"Schedule III states that the site for the same shall be provided by Municipalities or Corporations, Urban Local Bodies and Gram Panchayats."

It avers that the objective behind Rule 17 is to ascertain and ensure the land requirement, plot size, coverage area, further requirement of the site being 500 meters away from residential and sensitive areas, etc. which cannot ideally be ensured if the said activity is completely delegated to private entity.

The plea also states that the impugned tender document is in contravention to Article 14 of the Constitution as the scope of work under RFP creates a dichotomy as the operator shall only charge from the private Healthcare Facilities, at rates which are already fixed by the Govt. ofNCT, Directorate of Health Services; however, the tender provides that the Operator shall not charge from the Government Health Care Facilities or Occupier.

"There is no rational or intelligible differentia behind the distinction of taking free of charge services for State/Central Health care facilities and pre-fix the rates for Private Health Care Facilities…(this) will furthermore lead in disparity in the cost of the Health Care Facilities to the public as the incidence of the said burden of the cost of disposal of Bio-Medical waste only from the Private Health Care Facilities shall be shifted to the public."

The petition is filed on behalf of International Human Rights Council though Advocates Suren Uppal, Sneha Baul, Samiksha Gupta, Ch. Animesh Prusty, Akshita Raina.

Case Title: International Human Rights Council v. Union of India

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