PANJIM: Nearly 60 private hospitals in the State are on the radar of Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) for being in operation without obtaining ‘Consent to Operate’ under Air and Water Acts from the board.
The Board last week issued notices to the private hospitals asking to show cause “why action should not be initiated against your unit for operating without obtaining Consent to Operate from the Board”.
“Records available with the Board indicated that you have not obtained Consent to Operate from the Board, thereby operating the unit in violation of the provisions of Water and Air Acts,” the notice added.
The hospitals are asked to submit their reply within 15 days and also to make online application for grant of Consent to Operate under Water (prevention and control of pollution) Act 1974 and Air (prevention and control of pollution) Act 1981.
The notice issued by Environmental Engineer Sanjeev Joglekar has warned of stringent legal action including closer of the hospital, if it fails to comply with the notice within the stipulated time.
The Board during its meeting held in February had decided to take action against the hospitals after going through the inventory submitted by them on the bio-medical waste generated. Accordingly, the Board resolved to issue notices and take action against those who fails to comply with the directions under Water and Air act.
A Senior Board official confirmed that after getting notices, several hospitals have made online applications for the Consent to operate; however, document submission is pending. “Several hospitals have even submitted their reply to the show cause,” official said.
When contacted, the Association of Private Nursing Homes (APNH) said that though the sudden move by the Board has created panic situation, the hospitals have decided to abide by the law.
APNH President Dr Gautam Dhubashi said that the notices issues are basically directing the hospitals to apply fresh or renew their consent to operate under Water and Air Act. “It is just a part of procedure under the Act, which we have to abide by. We have decided to comply with the notice and apply renewal of the consent,” he said.
Dhubashi said that notice created panic situation initially but after going into the details, we realized that it is mandatory. “The only issue at present is that the fees charges are with retrospective effect. We will have to talk to Board as the burden will be huge,” he said.