NGT Calls for High-Level Task Force for COVID-19 Waste Disposal.

The National Green Tribunal ordered that a high-level task team should supervise the handling and disposal of COVID-19 waste. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Chief Secretary of States and Union Territories; to closely monitor the scientific storage, transport, handling, management and disposal of COVID-19 waste.

Moreover, the bench said, “At the national level, let a high-level task team of Ministry of Environment, Health, Urban Development, Jal Shakti, Defence and CPCB supervise the handling and scientific disposal of COVID-19 waste in accordance with the guidelines”. The Bench further ordered the state Departments of Environment and pollution control boards to ensure compliance of Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and furnish action taken report to CPCB. The Bench also stated, let CPCB take further steps and furnish a consolidated report to the NGT. The Report is supposed to be of the steps taken and the ground status as on May 3, 2020.

The Tribunal said, disposal of COVID-19 waste in general bins so as to be part of municipal waste or unscientific handling sewage and other liquid waste without safeguards can be hazardous. The NGT on April 21, 2020, urged the State Pollution Control Board and Committee to put in serious efforts. To mitigate the possible risk of unscientific disposal of the bio-medical waste arising out of the handling of the Coronavirus. Meanwhile, the CPCB on April 19 issued revised guidelines for the management of waste generated during the diagnostics; and treatment of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

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