Mumbai: JJ hospital kills its 'save nature campaign' by burning waste
Even as hospital staffers collect garbage to protect the environment, they burn dry waste leading to air pollution
Staffers of Grant Medical College and JJ Group of Hospitals always ensure that they take part in the hospital's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan programme on the first and third Saturdays of every month. But they have failed to understand that in the process of protecting the environment, they are making it more toxic by burning the dry waste that is collected.
Burning of waste banned
A similar thing happened on the hospital premises on Saturday. Instead of converting the dry waste into compost or disposing it of in a scientific manner, the staffers dumped them at isolated pockets on the campus and burnt them in violation of the December 2016 National Green Tribunal order banning burning of garbage in the open. According to the ruling, it can also attract a fine of Rs 25,000, as it is a major source of pollution. Even the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, prohibits burning of garbage in public spaces. According to sources at the hospital, this has become a regular phenomenon at the premises.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a faculty member said, "Instead of converting the dry waste into compost, it was openly burnt early in the morning. The toxic smoke emanating from it is not only harmful for patients, but also for their relatives and staff.
He further said, "It is unfortunate that such an act goes unsupervised, especially in the state's largest referral hospital, which attends to hundreds of indoor and outdoor patients on a daily basis."
Harmful for all
A senior doctor attached to the hospital said, "The toxic fumes not only pollute the air, but also adversely impact the health of patients, especially those undergoing treatment for respiratory ailments, asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis etc." He added, "In foreign countries, closed incinerators are used for burning dry garbage, so that the smoke doesn't pollute the environment. It is high time that such an irresponsible practice is stopped."
When contacted, RM Dange, executive engineer at B ward, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation does not collect garbage from JJ Hospital, and the PWD and hospital management deals with it. However, he mentioned that the hospital burning waste inside the campus was wrong. Even after repeated attempts to contact the dean, Dr MB Tayade, he could not be reached for comments.
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