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PCBA unaware of its role in management of biomedical wastes

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GUWAHATI, Jan 18 - It seems the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) is not aware of its role in the management of biomedical wastes.

Rule 9 of the Bio-Medical Waste Management (BMWM) Rules, 2016 states, �Prescribed authority � (1) The prescribed authority for implementation of the provisions of these rules shall be the State Pollution Control Boards in respect of States and Pollution Control Committees in respect of Union territories.�

However, on January 1 this year, the PCBA told RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury in reply to his queries, �the prescribed authority entrusted with the duty to constitute State or district level Advisory Committees for Bio-Medical Waste Management is the State Government Department of Health. As such no information is available with this board.�

Significantly, the PCBA has remained silent on the issue of non-formation of the Advisory Committee by the State Government even after elapse of 14 months (till May 22, 2017, the date on which PCBA wrote the letter to the Principal Secretary, Health Department from the date of the BMWM Rules coming into effect March 28, 2016).

Choudhury filed his RTI petition with the PCBA in connection with the BMWM Rules, 2016.

Rule 11 of the BMWM Rules, which deals with the Advisory Committee, has stated, �11(1) Every State Government or Union Territory Administration shall constitute an Advisory Committee for the respective State or Union Territory under the chairmanship of the respective health secretary to oversee the implementation of the rules in the respective State and to advice any improvement and the Advisory Committee shall include representatives from the Departments of Health, Environment, Urban Development, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences of that State Government or Union Territory administration, State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee, urban local bodies or local bodies or municipal corporation, representatives from Indian Medical Association, common bio-medical waste treatment facility and non-governmental organisation.�

Rule 11(3) of the BMWM Rules says, �The Advisory Committee constituted under sub-rule (1) and (2) shall meet at least once in six months and review all matters related to implementation of the provisions of these rules in the State and Armed Forces Health Care Facilities, as the case may be.�

Choudhury asked the PCBA to provide him the names and affiliations of members of the above mentioned Advisory Committee constituted by the Pollution Control Board, Assam as per Rule 11 of Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.

He also sought the information on the dates along with the minutes of all the meetings held by the Advisory Committee, and asked for the details/certified copy of all the advices made by the Advisory Committee to the Government since its inception till the date of his filing the petition (December1, 2017).

To these, the PCBA gave Choudhury the above reply. It further told the RTI activist that it had already �intimated the Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Health & Family Welfare Department to constitute the Advisory Committee (letter No. WB/OTWA/BMW-195/Pt-I/08-09/228 dated 22.05.2017).�

The May 22, 2017 letter of the Member Secretary (i/c), Pollution Control Board, Assam to Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department, Assam on the constitution of the Advisory Committee for the BMWM Rules, 2016 in the State, states, �I would like to request you to kindly initiate necessary action for constitution of State and district level advisory committee to oversee the Bio-Medical Waste Management in the State of Assam as a whole and simultaneously in the respective districts of the State.�

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PCBA unaware of its role in management of biomedical wastes

GUWAHATI, Jan 18 - It seems the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) is not aware of its role in the management of biomedical wastes.

Rule 9 of the Bio-Medical Waste Management (BMWM) Rules, 2016 states, �Prescribed authority � (1) The prescribed authority for implementation of the provisions of these rules shall be the State Pollution Control Boards in respect of States and Pollution Control Committees in respect of Union territories.�

However, on January 1 this year, the PCBA told RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury in reply to his queries, �the prescribed authority entrusted with the duty to constitute State or district level Advisory Committees for Bio-Medical Waste Management is the State Government Department of Health. As such no information is available with this board.�

Significantly, the PCBA has remained silent on the issue of non-formation of the Advisory Committee by the State Government even after elapse of 14 months (till May 22, 2017, the date on which PCBA wrote the letter to the Principal Secretary, Health Department from the date of the BMWM Rules coming into effect March 28, 2016).

Choudhury filed his RTI petition with the PCBA in connection with the BMWM Rules, 2016.

Rule 11 of the BMWM Rules, which deals with the Advisory Committee, has stated, �11(1) Every State Government or Union Territory Administration shall constitute an Advisory Committee for the respective State or Union Territory under the chairmanship of the respective health secretary to oversee the implementation of the rules in the respective State and to advice any improvement and the Advisory Committee shall include representatives from the Departments of Health, Environment, Urban Development, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences of that State Government or Union Territory administration, State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee, urban local bodies or local bodies or municipal corporation, representatives from Indian Medical Association, common bio-medical waste treatment facility and non-governmental organisation.�

Rule 11(3) of the BMWM Rules says, �The Advisory Committee constituted under sub-rule (1) and (2) shall meet at least once in six months and review all matters related to implementation of the provisions of these rules in the State and Armed Forces Health Care Facilities, as the case may be.�

Choudhury asked the PCBA to provide him the names and affiliations of members of the above mentioned Advisory Committee constituted by the Pollution Control Board, Assam as per Rule 11 of Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.

He also sought the information on the dates along with the minutes of all the meetings held by the Advisory Committee, and asked for the details/certified copy of all the advices made by the Advisory Committee to the Government since its inception till the date of his filing the petition (December1, 2017).

To these, the PCBA gave Choudhury the above reply. It further told the RTI activist that it had already �intimated the Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Health & Family Welfare Department to constitute the Advisory Committee (letter No. WB/OTWA/BMW-195/Pt-I/08-09/228 dated 22.05.2017).�

The May 22, 2017 letter of the Member Secretary (i/c), Pollution Control Board, Assam to Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department, Assam on the constitution of the Advisory Committee for the BMWM Rules, 2016 in the State, states, �I would like to request you to kindly initiate necessary action for constitution of State and district level advisory committee to oversee the Bio-Medical Waste Management in the State of Assam as a whole and simultaneously in the respective districts of the State.�