MMC’s disposal of biomed waste fails to take off

MARGAO: Ten months after the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) set the ball rolling to put together a system for safe disposal of biomedical waste generated in the city, the process lies in limbo.

Apparently, the civic body is running out of ideas, initiative and drive to explore ways to put together a plan for biomedical waste disposal, though the MMC is now considering obtaining government funds for the purpose.

Council chairperson Savio Coutinho, however, expressed his determination to set up the biomedical waste disposal facility in the city “with or without government funds.”

“The proposal to seek funds either from the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) or the Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA) will be placed before the council meeting to be held on November 5. Whether we get government funds or not, it is imperative that some arrangements be made for safe disposal of biomedical waste,” Coutinho told TOI. Coutinho said that the council was also exploring the possibility of setting up a common centralized biomedical waste disposal facility in the city to be managed by the MMC.

It may be recalled that Coutinho, barely two months after assuming the post of the chairperson of MMC, had made known MMC plans to explore ways for the safe disposal of biomedical waste generated in the city.

In furtherance of this plan, a meeting of representatives of medical clinics, hospitals and laboratory units located within the city was held at the MMC with a view to solicit their cooperation in the civic body’s task of finding an effective solution to the vexed issue. At this meeting, that saw the participation of over 20 representatives of medical establishments in Margao, it was decided to undertake the exercise of determining the quantum of waste generated in the city as a first step to arrive at a permanent solution. The proposed exercise entailed segregation of biomedical waste by biomedical units which would then be collected by MMC workers to be deposited in pits dug for the purpose at Sonsoddo.

The task was tentatively scheduled to begin from February 1. However, the plans were eventually aborted.

Coutinho, when contacted, said that though the plans were very much on the anvil, the process will be resumed once the Sonsoddo imbroglio was resolved.

“I intend to resume the process once we are through with the process of selecting the agency for setting up the garbage treatment plant,” Coutinho affirmed.

According to sources in the municipal council, there exist some 29 private nursing homes besides the two government hospitals, Hospicio and ESI. While more than 25 pathological laboratories conduct business in the city, over 300 private dispensaries exist in Margao. Most of them do not have bio-medical waste disposal system in place, it is learnt.