The National Green Tribunal Wednesday came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government over its inability to provide exact number of hospitals, health care centres and nursing homes in the state and directed it to submit complete information within a month.
The tribunal granted more time to the Yogi Adityanath government subject to the condition that it would deposit a performance guarantee of Rs 10 crore.
A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore said the facts in respect of total number of hospitals and other medical bodies have varied so much so that the figure given by the Department of Medical and Health and state pollution control board are different.
"You are not able to tell the total number of hospitals. What sort of functioning is of Uttar Pradesh (sic), we fail to understand," the tribunal observed.
The tribunal noted in its order that the Director of Medical and Health has submitted that there are 5,240 government hospitals in the state whereas earlier it was informed there are only 1,643 hospitals.
"...it reflects the seriousness and responsibility which the state of UP has towards issue," the bench said.
During the hearing, the Director of Medical and Health, told the bench that the figure of 5,240 is not complete as survey in other districts was going on and sought two months time to complete the work.
"In order to ensure that all concerned officers of medical health could be serious about the issue and collect the data on hospitals, we grant one month time to do the needful provided they execute a performance guarantee of Rs 10 crore within a week," the bench, also comprising expert member S S Gabrayal, said.
The matter is listed for next hearing on March 12.
The direction came on a plea filed by a UP-based journalist Shailesh Singh seeking directions for closure of all hospitals, medical facilities and waste disposal plants which were not complying with the waste management rules.
It had alleged that rag-pickers were allowed unauthorised transportation of waste and they disposed it in an unscientific manner.
"Indiscriminate disposal of bio-medical waste and exposure to such waste poses serious threat to the environment and human health that requires specific treatment and management prior to its final disposal," the plea said.
The tribunal had earlier directed hospitals in Uttarakhand to ensure proper collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical and solid waste in the state and said any violation would lead to imposition of environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 on them.
The NGT had earlier said there should be no throwing of any medical, bio-medical or any other waste into the Ganga and other water bodies and if any hospital was found throwing such waste anywhere the authorities would recover Rs 20,000 per violation from them.