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Patients face discomfort as staff burn waste at Aundh Chest Hospital

Vaseline 2 months ago

A large amount of waste, including leaves and wood, is being burned in an open area in front of the Aundh Chest Hospital despite the presence of a waste collection facility, patients allege.

Despite the health risk that the smoke poses to these patients, the waste is burned by the sanitation workers. (HT PHOTO)

The hospital focuses on patients suffering from serious chest conditions and tuberculosis (TB). It is the only hospital in the district with an indoor facility for TB patients. Most of the prisoners in the hospital are patients suffering from drug-resistant tuberculosis. However, despite the health risk that the smoke poses to these patients, the waste is burned by the sanitation workers.

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Family members of a patient who requested anonymity said, “The smoke released during burning of waste makes it difficult for patients and hospital staff to breathe. Many patients complain of choking and coughing due to the smoke from the burning waste.”

It is important to note that the hospital is located on the campus of Aundh District Hospital, which serves a large number of patients on an in-patient unit (OPD) basis. Waste is reportedly being burned right in front of the hospital entrance, which is a gross violation of waste management rules and contributes to air pollution.

Sharad Shetty, health activist, said, “The piles of waste being burned on the hospital premises also contain masks and gloves. Its stench is bothersome to patients visiting hospitals. The officials must take the issue seriously.”

Dr. Abhijeet Hosmani, medical superintendent of Aundh district hospital, said, “I will look into the matter and speak to the sanitary staff and other staff. We will take necessary action against the persons concerned.”

Sanjay Kulkarni, head of environment department of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), said burning of waste is illegal under the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.

“We will investigate the matter and take necessary action. However, the sanitary staff should understand how they can even think of burning the waste on the hospital campus,” he said.