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5-in-1 hope to treat bio-waste

Ranchi, April 13: Biomedical waste upping the hazard quotient in the capital and elsewhere will soon be a thing of the past, courtesy Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB), which has decided to set up not one, but five new incinerators for quick disposal.

To be christened the Central Bio-waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF), the incinerator plants will come up in Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Daltonganj and Deoghar.

“The incinerators will be set up on BOO (build, own and operate) basis. A Central Pollution Control Board team is arriving tomorrow to finalise the firm (or firms) for this purpose,” said C.R. Sahay, the chairman of JSPCB.

The names of the bidders have been kept confidential, but Sahay said eight companies were in the fray and the best would win the tender.

It will be a five-year contract and the incinerators will function on PPP mode.

“Both the Centre and the state will contribute 25 per cent of the entire project cost (including the price of land) each,” Sahay said, adding that the funds would be released only after the chosen firm became operational.

Earlier, the state had two incinerators — one commissioned by Global Incinerator at Bhuli, Dhanbad, and the other by Bio-genetic Incinerator in Ramgarh. While the former was banned by JSPCB in 2008, the latter was blacklisted in 2010 for not adhering to waste disposal guidelines.

The fallout: hospitals, in the absence of an effective disposal mechanism, dumped medical wastes in the open, either on land or in water.

The twin medical facilities in the capital — Rinpas and Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), too, boasted incinerators, but these remained out of order most of the time.

The incinerator at Rinpas had to be abandoned two months ago. The authorities at RIMS maintained that theirs was still operational, but was for exclusive use. “Four months ago, our incinerator was repaired. It is working fine now. I inspected it a week ago and it is in running condition,” said Tulsi Mahto, the director of RIMS. He added that the hospital generated and disposed around 500kg of medical waste daily.

Pollution control board officials said the Ramgarh firm was reissued work permit two months ago, but it was not able to cater to the needs of the state, which generates 5,415kg of biomedical waste every day. “On an average, we can dispose anywhere between 300kg to 400kg of waste at our plant,” a Ranchi official of Bio-Genetic Incinerator conceded.

Once the Central Bio-waste Treatment Facility becomes operational, each incinerator will cover a maximum radius of 150km. “Most hospitals and clinics are concentrated in and around the five cities and towns. If each incinerator plant collects medical waste along a 150km radius, there will be no health risks for man, wild animals or aquatic species,” Sahay said.

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