Assam struggles to manage biomedical waste with one facility

Assam’s lone CBWTF in the Panikhaiti area is proving insufficient in pandemic times. The quantity of biomedical waste generated by city hospitals has increased considerably during the pandemic, compelling the government to ink a fresh agreement with the Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF) for disposal of such waste amounting up to 3 tonnes a day.

The CBWTF run by Fresh Air Waste Management Services Pvt. Ltd is the only such facility that is operational in the state. However, due to the location of the treatment plant in Panikhaiti, on the outskirts of Guwahati, its jurisdiction is only within a maximum 150 km radius from the city as per rules.

Covid Care centres and hospitals treating virus-infected patients are producing the bulk of the waste. But the situation in other parts of the state remains a cause of concern as there is no such waste treatment facility, except the one located on the outskirts of Guwahati, reports The Times of India.

In the absence of such common biomedical waste treatment facilities elsewhere in the state, the huge volumes of biomedical waste, including used PPE kits, are chemically treated and then disposed of through deep burial in barren lands. But the question is for how long non-biodegradable biomedical waste will be thrown in lands, posing a threat to contamination of groundwater.

Picture Credit: PhukanGhy253CC BY-SA 4.0

Read Previous

Spotting business opportunities in e-waste

Read Next

MoHUA to RS: 40% waste is dumped illegally