Operation of biomedical waste unit unviable, KEIL tells govt.

Waste generated at govt. healthcare facilities in Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Malappuram falls short of plantโ€™s capacity

Kerala Enviro Infrastructure Limited (KEIL) has informed the government that operating its new Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility at Ambalamedu here with waste generated by the government healthcare facilities in Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Malappuram districts alone will not be feasible.

The plant is the second such facility in the State after the Indian Medical Association Goes Eco-friendly (IMAGE) unit in Palakkad. It has the capacity to treat 15 to 16 tonnes of biomedical waste daily. The government has decided to allocate the waste generated in government healthcare facilities in Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Malappuram to the new plant located on nearly 3.5 acres.

โ€œThe waste generated in the government healthcare facilities in these three districts will be around 2.5 tonnes to 3 tonnes only on a daily basis. With the plant in Ambalamedu having the capacity to treat nearly 16 tonnes per day, it will not be viable to operate it with a limited quantity,โ€ said N.K. Pillai, Chief Executive Officer of KEIL.

The public limited company has requested the government to allocate biomedical waste generated in both government and private healthcare facilities in six districts, including Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Idukki and Malappuram, as per the expression of interest invited by the State Pollution Control Board in 2013.

KEIL has spent around โ‚น14.5 crore towards setting up the facility. As per the agreement, it has to undertake treatment of biomedical waste generated in government hospitals at concessional rates. Mr. Pillai said the fee structure for treatment fixed per bed in a government facility a day is โ‚น4.50. There is no affiliation fee for government hospitals. With the waste provided from government healthcare facilities at those rates, it will not be feasible to operate the plant, he said.

The company is also awaiting the release of the subsidy under the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 towards setting up the facility. According to officials, the Centre and the State have to provide โ‚น90 lakh each, but the funds have not yet been released.

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