Gujarat Police probe illegal trade of bio-medical waste

March 7th, 2009 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, March 7 (IANS) Nearly a month after a hepatitis-B outbreak in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district claimed 62 lives, the police are probing an inter-state racket involving scrap dealers and those buying bio-medical waste from them, an official said Saturday.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corp (AMC) has named 53 scrap dealers caught in the past one week for illegally keeping used syringes and needles in their warehouses, a Ahmedabad Crime Branch official told IANS.

The AMC has sealed 25 warehouses in Ahmedabad and Surat and seized 100 tonnes of bio-medical waste during the past 10 days, he added.

Warehouses are not supposed to store bio-medical waste and the clinics and hospitals are required to incinerate them at source.

The official said the initial investigations point towards a strong nexus of middlemen dealing in used syringes and needles and some traders in Udaipur district of Rajasthan.

“We are gathering evidence from the records of scrap dealers and will seek help from the Rajasthan Police to nab people operating there,” he said.

Most scrap dealers engaged in selling bio-medical waste have been found to be based in the areas of Ahmedabad.

“The enormity of the problem can ascertained from the fact that a single scrap dealer in Memco locality of Ahmedabad had 25 tonnes of needles, syringes and intravenous fluid bottles of stored in his warehouse,” the official said.

“But a case can been registered only when one of the middlemen or scrap dealer states that the consignment was meant for dealers outside Gujarat,” he added.

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