Medical hub hits eco snag
An expert panel of the environment and forests ministry has found that construction of Tezpur Medical College and Hospital has begun without obtaining the mandatory environmental clearances, which is in “violation” of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification.
The issue came up for discussion at the 116th meeting of the expert appraisal committee for building construction, coastal regulation zone, infrastructure development and miscellaneous projects that was held from September 19 to 21 at New Delhi.
“The committee after discussion (has) concluded that since construction has already begun, this is a case of violation,” the committee report stated. According to the details of the meeting, an executive engineer of the public works department revealed that construction for the above project had already begun.
Environmental clearance for certain developmental projects has been made mandatory by the ministry of environment and forests through its notification issued on January 27, 1994 under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
The objective of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, was to set procedures of environmental clearance before the establishment of a project of identified nature and size. The suitability of a site for proposed development is one of the primary concerns for environmental clearance of a project.
The committee has advised authorities to leave a 3-metre-wide green belt around the perimeter of the plot and the ways being implemented to save energy and ground/fresh water were also sought.
The committee decided to defer the proposal and requested the proponent to present the case in the next meeting after incorporating the above changes in the layout.
The proposed facility of Tezpur Medical College and Hospital at Bihaguri in Tezpur will consist of a hospital with 500 beds in general wards for all the departments, excluding pay-in cabins, according to the guidelines of the Medical Council of India. The facility will also have a Medical College for 100 students, which is also being designed on the norms prescribed by the MCI.
Sources said the college is expected to become functional by 2013. The site for the medical college at Bihoguri is nearly 18km from Tezpur on National Highway 52, spread over an area of 36.8 acres.
The authorities have provided details on water requirement for the project and its various sources, segregation of biomedical waste and others. The waste will be sent to the common bio-medical waste treatment facility for treatment and disposal and domestic garbage will be collected separately.