The Sindh High Court has been asked to review its order in a public interest petition regarding the dangerous disposal of hospital waste in Karachi by both private and public sector hospitals.
The review petition was filed by Qazi Athar Ali Advocate, a lawyer and head of a NGO battling to improve the environment of the city.
A bench had in December 2010 disposed of his petition holding that it had served its purpose as the authorities have taken steps to ensure that hospital waste is disposed safely. The bench held that as a result of its orders and the formation of a committee by the health department, it has been ensured that Hospital Waste Management Rules are adhered and enforced.
In his review petition, the petitioner raised a number of law points and factual controversies on the disposal of hospital waste which, according to some estimates, is 35 metric tons a day. The petitioner maintained that Karachi’s hospitals lack incinerators and that waste is being burnt. As a result, cancerous material is emitted. The petitioner also maintains that Pakistan is bound to follow and implement international standards.
He maintains that health officials (the respondents) misled the court and as nothing was done to implement the court orders which were passed from time to time.
The petitioner requested the court to review its judgment and tell the hospitals and health department to ensure a sufficient number of incinerators are installed. The review petition is likely to be heard during the summer vacations which begin from Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.