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NHRC takes up disposal of radioactive waste in hospitals

Written By Krishna on Friday, October 26, 2012 | 3:01 AM

NHRC takes up disposal of radioactive waste in hospitals
Concerned over lack of proper facilities for disposal of radioactive substances used in government hospitals, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked States to provide it with information on the disposal of radioactive waste from hospitals. The States have been asked to respond within eight weeks failing which the Commission would take action for non-compliance. Taking suo motu cognisance of incidents in the recent past across the country following improper disposal, the NHRC has sought information on the number of hospitals under the administrative control of the government and how they were dealing with the matter. Also, it wanted to know what steps were being taken by the hospitals to prevent radiation from this material. The Commission has expressed a desire to interact with the hospitals directly.

The NHRC has constituted an expert committee for framing of some guidelines for clinical trials of drugs in the country. The Commission took this decision in connection with some cases it registered suo motu on the basis of media reports alleging unethical clinical drug trials in the country. It had also received some complaints on the issue. The NHRC has also decided to intervene in the case relating to the clinical trials of drugs pending before the Supreme Court. The case has been filed as public interest litigation by an Indore based NGO, Swasthya Adhikar Manch. 
The committee will comprise of the following:-

" Dr. D.C. Doval, Director Research & Director, Medical Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi;
" Prof. Vivekanand Jha, Department of Nephrology, PGIMER, Chandigarh;
" Prof. B.N. Dhawan, former Director, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow and Chairman, Institutional Ethics Committee of Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow;
" Dr. Subhash Yadav, Addl. Professor, Department of Endocrinology & Member Secretary, IEC, SGPGI, Lucknow; 
 " Dr. Nilima Kshirsgar, National Chair in Clinical Pharmacology, Indian Council of Medical Research; 
" Dean, ESI- PGIMER, MGM Hospital, Mumbai Law Division.
The NHRC shall coordinate the meetings of the Committee.  

Govt notifies ban on plastic bags

Despite the heavy pressure from the “plastic lobby”, the Delhi government has notified the blanket ban on plastic bags. A senior Delhi government official on Thursday confirmed that the notification regarding blanket ban had been issued on October 23.“The ban had been notified on October 23 and the process of implementation of the decision is on. Very soon Delhi will become the first plastic bags free state,” the official said. The city government, however, notified the ban discreetly following the pressure of the “plastic lobby”. At least one lakh people are directly depended on the business of plastic bags, which includes factory owners, workers and buyers. The pressure of unemployment of these one-lakh people was the biggest hurdle in front of the Delhi government for banning the plastic bags.
Formal orders, spanning over a year, passed by the Supreme Court in the public interest petition triggered by the “highly disturbing” photographs of people who may have been affected by the pesticide endosulfan in Kerala show the case has come full circle.The case, Democratic Youth Federation of India vs. Union of India , was first heard on May 2, 2011, by a three-judge bench led by the then Chief Justice of India Justice S.H. Kapadia. Eleven days later, on May 13, 2011, the Bench ordered an “immediate ban” on the pesticide.In the order, it observed that “some of the studies show that endosulfan is significantly associated with neuro-behavioural disorders, cognitive disorders, hydrocephalus, mental retardation, cortical blindness, seizures, Parkinson’s disease”.

Mavallipura landfill set to reopen
 The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has allowed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to dump garbage at Mavallipura for three more months.Vaman Acharya, chairperson of the KSPCB told Deccan Herald on Thursday that the unprecedented garbage crisis in the City compelled the Board to reconsider its decision on closing the Mavallipura dumping yard.“Our permission to open the landfill is valid for only three months. We will consider extending the permission based on the compliance of the Palike with environmental standards.Besides, we will inspect the dumping yard every week,” Acharya said.Senior BBMP officials said that the prevailing situation demanded the opening of the Mavallipura dump yard.
There were four official ghats where the Delhi government had permitted immersions on Wednesday, the day of Durga visarjan. However, either because people were not aware, or because it was convenient for some, several small idols and tonnes of puja material found its way into the Yamuna from all possible bridges in the city. At the Yamuna Bridge on Vikas Marg, despite two traffic police constables, a tow truck and notices that warned people against stopping, several people parked their vehicles on the main road to throw puja material into the river. A temporary mesh structure erected in the river just off the main road also did nothing to hold in the puja material that were immersed there. Consequently, the already filthy Yamuna was even filthier on Wednesday, dotted with hundreds of plastic bags, strips of red cloth and small idols among other things.

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