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State still grappling with biomedical waste

Margao: In the absence of treatment of biomedical waste has created a problem especially for senior citizens who are bedridden as local bodies face an uphill task for disposal during the lockdown period.  An aggrieved citizen has now sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for addressal of the issue under Swatch Bharat Abhiyan.

The state has been under lockdown since March 22, after the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus. Ironically village panchayats have door-to-door collection of dry garbage while there is no system in place to handle wet garbage and medical waste.

The government has already started the process for setting up a bio-medical waste treatment plant at Kundaim industrial estate.

The daughter of a senior citizen Sapna Ghadekar who is stranded in Mumbai due to the lockdown said, “My mother is 85-year-old and is bed ridden. Though we have a care taker we are facing a major issue with the disposal of adult diapers as they cannot be burnt nor buried as it can contaminate the ground water.

Ghadekar said she raised the issue with the panchayat but the sarpanch said that the panchayat is not in a position to help due to lack of facility for wet garbage disposal or medical waste and asked to find some other source to dispose the medical waste.

She said that the family had earlier brought to the notice of the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and had tweeted the issue on his official handle but help was not arriving. Ghadekar said it is not a problem of her mother alone, there are thousands of senior citizens, and some suffering from Alzheimer’s and the matter has to be addressed in the larger interest of the environment.

She said as a last resort the family has written to the Prime Minister and highlighted the problem of disposal of adult diapers stating that neither the village panchayat nor the state government has a solution for handling of biomedical waste.

Further they pointed out that the waste cannot be burnt or buried and sought the help from the Prime Minister’s office in lines of the Swatch Bharat vision.

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