Mysore, a city in Karnataka, is facing concerns over clandestine dumping of medical waste from Kerala, especially amid the Nipah virus scare in the neighboring state. Members of the Mysuru Lorry Owners Association stopped a lorry carrying medical waste from Kerala to be dumped in Mysuru on September 16 and informed the police.
The lorry was covered with a tarpaulin, concealing its contents, but the foul smell prompted the lorry owners to investigate further. On removing the tarpaulin they found medical waste. The lorry driver admitted that the waste came from hospitals in Kerala and was to be dumped on the outskirts of Mysore. The local police seized the lorry.
In Karnataka, proper disposal of medical waste is done by specialized agencies, but Kerala lacks such a system. As a result, medical waste generated in Kerala is reportedly being secretly taken to and around Mysore for dumping.
Residents are raising questions as to how these lorries are passing through the check-post on the Kerala-Karnataka border without any information. Some reports suggest that lorry owners in Kerala have to pay Rs. getting paid. Rs 25,000 per load for transportation and dumping of medical waste in Mysore area.
In the wake of the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, transportation and disposal of medical waste from the state has become a serious concern for Mysore residents. They are urging the authorities including police and regional transport office (RTO) to take strict action against those responsible for dumping medical waste from Kerala. There are also concerns that if vehicles are not strictly monitored at border posts, the virus could spread to Mysuru.
This incident is not alone, such incidents involving lorries carrying medical waste from Kerala to Mysore have come to light earlier also.