NAB’s report to SC uncovers biggest fraud in hospital waste case

Daily Times

The famous company for incinerating the hospital waste in Punjab has been found guilty over the allegations of not disposing the hospital waste scientifically while minting the money fraudulently.

This has been revealed in a report of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented in Supreme Court of Pakistan while report also held responsible three officials of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in link to Ali Traders Waste Management Company (AT Waste), the infamous company which has been providing services to the hospitals and industries to incinerate their infectious waste since 2012.

Experts have been warned over the issue of misuse of hospital waste in country, particularly in Punjab while the issue has been highlighted in media times and again. Despite all concerns, authorities remained reluctant to control the menace which helped the violators to play with the lives of citizens. However, the SC in a matter regarding the Disposal of Hospital and Sewerage Waste had directed NAB to conduct an inquiry into the contracts of the M/S A.T Waste Management Company, Kasur. During the probe the committee of experts, there found a score of embezzlements and misappropriations since the company started its operation.

This has been revealed that the said company got Environmental Approval from EPA for incinerating 100-150 Kg/hour on August 30, 2011. During its operation, the owner of the company requested EPA officials to increase the capacity of incineration up to 400kg/hour.

NAB officials found that the EPA officials malafidely increased the capacity of incineration in the substituted Environmental Approval. In report this was alleged that Deputy Director EIA Naseem-ur-Rehman, the then Assistant Director EIA Riaz Ahmad and the then Inspector Muffakir Ahsan prima facie involved in the said illegal act of misusing authority.

EPA officials malafidely increased the capacity of incineration of company in the substituted Environmental Approval

It is pertinent to mention here that prior to allowing such amendment in the operation capacity, no physical inspection/ verification of the operation site of the incinerator was conducted by EPA officials to ascertain whether the capacity of the plant was enhanced by the owner or not. NAB report further states, “No approval was sought from the competent authority for issuance of Environmental Approval, which clearly reveal that the EPA officials were hand in glove with the owner of the firm.”

During the visit of team of NAB and experts, this was found that the plant/incinerator was operational at full load i.e 450kg/hour while the combustion efficiency of the plant was found beyond the Punjab Environmental Quality Standards (PEQS) limits. “An excessive pressure resulting in the leakage of emissions at height of 12-15 feet was observed which cleared that plant’s capacity was not 450kg/hour as contended by the owner of the company,” report revealed.

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