Over 100 hospitals sharing waste data with EPA: Farzana Altaf

ISLAMABAD: The Director General, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Farzana Altaf Shah Thursday said that over 100 hospitals in the federal capital were sharing their waste management data with the EPA.

The DG-EPA told the APP that under the Hospital Waste Management Rules, 2005, all the public and private hospitals in the federal capital were bound to comply with the law and safely manage their waste management and disposal.

She said that they had shared the data with the Prime Minister as well however the EPA teams were regularly conducting visits to all the health care institutes in the federal capital, adding that they were also trying to bring local private clinics and hospitals in the net that were operating in the rural and far off areas. Hazardous waste of these institutes was detrimental for human health and environment which was necessarily to be managed safely.

Initially, she said during the monitoring visits of the teams issues like mismanaged combustion temperature of incinerators at various hospitals, absence of incinerator, outsource of hospital waste collection to unauthorized  garbage collectors and absence of any cogent mechanism were observed.  

“EPA has sealed numerous hospitals in the federal capital that have been found violating the hospital waste management law,” the DG, EPA said. To a question, she said that the record unhealthy ambient air in the federal capital was mainly due to abrupt weather pattern creating dust storms and increased vehicular emissions.

She argued that there had been no expansion in the number of industries in the federal capital whereas their emissions were also under control through a well-coordinated online system and latest technologies installed in the industrial units.

“There has been a mammoth increase in the number automobiles entering into the city per day which is beyond 3000. The total number of registered vehicles in the federal capital is less in ratio of the cars reaching from different cities and areas to the federal capital,” Farzana said. “We have written to the Ministry of Interior to declare vehicular monitor to inspect automobiles’ emissions of the federal capital which will help control the situation through system,” she told.

Responding to another query, she said that keeping in view the increasing ratio of pollutants EPA had written letters to both public and private institutions having large bus fleets on the roads to properly maintain their vehicles to curb dark smoke being spewed from their buses and cars. “Some of the departments have shared their reports with the EPA which is appreciable whereas the rest would be issued warnings and notices if they do not comply,” Farzana said.—APP

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