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Minister asks KSPCB to withdraw closure notices on served on govt hospitals

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EnvironmentPollutionPublic HealthGovernance

Medical Education Minister Ramachandre Gowda has said that the government would direct the beleaguered Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to withdraw the closure notice slapped by it on nine government hospitals for lack of permanent effluent treatment plants (ETPs).

"The board seems to have forgotten the difference between a government hospital and private factories. They have slapped notice on these hospitals as they do to private firms," he opined and said that being a government agency, the board should have had restricted itself by warning hospitals instead of ordering them to close down.

Gowda said that there is no need to panic as the government was in no mood to close any of the nine hospitals. "They would continue to work normally," he said adding that the government was in the process of setting up permanent ETPs at each of these nine hospitals at the earliest.

For the full text of the report that appeared in the New Indian Express, click           here

The KSPCB has apparently issued the closure notice only after giving the hospitals sufficient time (and enough warnings) to comply with the provisions of the new guidelines. Whereas the private hospitals readily acted on the guidelines, the government hospitals apparently seem to be challenging the authority of the KSPCB. Such posturings, that they are above the law of the land, by government agencies/ departments are nothing new, and will continue as long as we have ministers like Mr Gowda lending support to them.

The CM would do well to intervene and direct Mr Gowda to get the hospitals to comply with the rules immediately (in which case, I am sure, the KSPCB will allow some more breathing time), as also to remedy their present pitiable state, on which PRAJA has compiled enough            here   

Muralidhar Rao


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The Lok Adalat headed by Justice K L Manjunath refused to grant the state government the eight-months time it sought.

"The adalat is not in favour of closing any government hospital. We are interested in improving facilities. But we cannot keep our eyes closed to pollution, and the poorest among the poor are affected by it. We ordered closure in December and thereafter gave five-months time. Till today, nothing has moved... When other hospitals can set up such plants, why can't you? If you come up with some concrete plan, we can accommodate it. As far as the closure order is concerned, we'll take care of that," the Lok Adalat observed before adjourning the hearing.

For the full text, click             here

Muralidhar Rao

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