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Govt claims biomedical waste being disposed of properly

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By Our Staff Reporter
Gairsain, 3 Mar: Forest and Environment Minister Harak Singh Rawat today informed the Vidhan Sabha that 811 MT of biomedical waste in the form of face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser bottles and polythene bags was generated by the hospitals and Covid care centres as well as other places in urban and rural areas during the Corona pandemic from March 2020 to 15 February 2021 in Uttarakhand. He added that of the total 811 MT of biomedical waste, 657 MT was treated. He was responding to a starred question by member Preetam Singh Panwar during the Question Hour, today, on the third day of the budget session. He said that the waste generated by the quarantine centres, covid care centres as well as one-time items used for protection from Covid-19 infection were being disposed of as biomedical waste. The Union Government’s guidelines issued in this respect had already been made available to all municipal bodies and they had been directed to implement these strictly. He added that disposable items like masks, gloves and other items had to be mandatorily packed inside paper bags for 72 hours before their disposal as per the guidelines.
In reply to supplementary questions from BJP members Munna Singh Chauhan and Pradeep Batra, Rawat claimed that the people of the state were fully complying with the SOPs to protect themselves from Corona. He added that efforts were being made for the availability of forest land in municipal bodies which did not have land for disposal of garbage.
In response to the original question by BJP member Chandan Ramdas and supplementary questions of MLAs Bishan Singh Chufal and Ram Singh Kaida, the Forest Minister disclosed that there was no specific scheme or plan of the government to build monkey enclosures in the state in view of the increasing monkey menace in residential areas. He added that while there was no plan to make monkey enclosures in all the districts, monkey enclosures had been set up at three locations in Chidiyapur (Haridwar), Ranibagh and Almora. They also functioned as rescue centres for the monkeys and, so far, over 38,115 monkeys had been brought to these rescue centres and sterilised for birth control. More monkey enclosures would be set up by the government in Kedarnath Forest Division, Almora, Chidiyapur, Pithoragarh and Danibangar in the state. Funds were being made available to set up these enclosures. He said that all the departments including forest department had been instructed to strengthen the security on the borders to ensure that monkeys from neighbouring states were not released here.
Skill Development Minister Harak Singh Rawat assured the House that Government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) would not be closed anywhere in the state where there was availability of land, buildings and students. Rawat was responding to the original question of member Surendra Singh Negi, who was not present in the House due to illness. However the Speaker still allowed supplementary questions to be asked on the original question. Member Pooran Singh Fartiyal reminded the minister that an assurance had been given to the House earlier that no ITI would be closed down. However, three ITIs from his constituency had been closed down already. Member Bishan Singh Chufal and Govind Singh Kunjwal also levelled similar allegations that ITIs had been closed down in their constituencies as well. In response to supplementary questions, Minister Rawat disclosed that out of the 152 ITIs in the state, 86 were being operated under National Council for Vocational Training i.e. NCVT. 34 institutions had been accredited to NCVT in the last two years. He said that SCVT’s ITIs would also start operating when land, buildings and students were made available.
In reply to the question by MLA Deshraj Karnwal, the Forest Minister said that in the last three years, funds amounting to Rs 226.23 crores had been made available to the Van Panchayats of the state under various schemes. He said that the due to special efforts of the Forest Department and the Van Panchayats, forest area under Van Panchayats had increased by eight square kilometres.
AYUSH Minister Harak Singh Rawat said that a provision of Rs 10 crores had been made for the establishment of International Ayurvedic Research Institute at Charekha Danda under Dugadda Development Block. It would be established soon. Rawat gave this information in response to a supplementary question by MLA Ritu Khanduri. Earlier, in response to the original question from MLA Deshraj Karnwal, Rawat said that requisition had been made to fill 250 posts of Ayurveda practitioners. One Ayurvedic hospital would soon be opened in Jhabrera assembly constituency.