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Petition claims disposal of untreated COVID-related biomedical waste, Bombay HC issues notices

The Bombay HC sought to know whether the state and local administration were keeping an eye on safely disposing of the coronavirus-related biomedical waste which was being generated in Maharashtra.

Petition claims disposal of untreated COVID-related biomedical waste, Bombay HC issues notices
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The Bombay High Court has issued notice to the Maharashtra government instructing it to clarify whether the coronavirus-related biomedical waste was being disposed of safely. The HC also issued notices to the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and the state pollution control board. 

The Bombay HC sought to know whether the state and local administration were keeping an eye on safely disposing of the coronavirus-related biomedical waste which was being generated in Maharashtra.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which claimed that untreated coronavirus-related biomedical waste generated by the hospitals and pathology labs was being thrown at the Aadharwadi dumping ground in Kalyan. 

According to the media reports, the petition mentions that the disposal of 'untreated' COVID-19 biomedical waste in the open dumping ground is in violation of all the waste disposal guidelines. Kishor Sohoni, a Dombivali resident, filed the PIL through his advocate Sadhna Kumar. 

The PIL states that the Biomedical Waste Management rules make it mandatory to treat such waste generate by a hospital before dumping it. Moreover, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has released guidelines for treatment, handling and safe disposal of coronavirus-related biomedical waste.

As per the guidelines issued by the CPCB, it is mandatory for quarantine centres, pathology labs and citizens under home quarantine to follow the guidelines for waste disposal. The COVID-related biomedical waste should be kept separately in a temporary storage room before handing it over to the concerned authorities. 

During the hearing, the court was informed that KDMC needs to check the disposal of biomedical waste at the Aadharwadi dumping ground and sought a stay on the dumping on untreated waste. The petition also sought directions for the state to make a statement regarding the issue and clarify whether the CPCB guidelines were being followed to dispose of COVID-related biomedical waste. 

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