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RTE cell and a transparent alert to spread awareness!

In an effort to spread awareness about the recently implemented Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) announced it will set up an RTE cell and a child helpline.

The model rules formulated under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE) give multiple powers to the DCPCR to monitor, enforce and function as an appellate authority. For the effective implementation of the RTE Act, DCPCR is setting up an RTE cell.

DCPCR is also setting up a child helpline and a transparent alert and action online mechanism to take necessary steps to inform the public and children at large and shall be used as a tool and continuous forum for creating awareness about RTE and its various provisions.

DCPCR chairman Amod Kanth said: "The RTE cell shall comprise of a dedicated team which will include experts from education, members and staff of the commission. The helpline and the cell would function through cell phones, telephones and letters, which, in turn, will act as a forum for distressed children and guardians to register their complaints against violation of their rights".

The helpline would be monitored in a transparent manner at the senior most level.

UAE gives top priority to energy conservation

The UAE, which has the world's highest ecological footprint, is according top priority to environment conservation and has launched two major projects on recycling and conversion of waste into energy.

The seven-emirate federation launched a paper recycling programme to increase awareness on pollution and a project for conservation of power Thursday. Two leading business groups from the region -- Emirates General Petroleum Corporation "Emarat" and Emirates Environmental Working Group -- collected and recycled around 16 tonnes of paper waste from Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The aim of the programme was to dispose of paper waste in a healthy instead of burning such waste or burying them which increases pollution and causes further damage to the environment. Recycling paper waste has become an important issue for its role in preserving resources and protecting the environment.

The environment and water ministry is also scheduled to launch initiatives to lower energy consumption in a bid to reduce carbon emission and protect the environment.

The UAE has the highest ecological footprint in the world. Along with Japan and Switzerland, the UAE is assessing the ecological footprint. The new building will consume two million kilowatts of electricity per annum and 750,000 gallons of water, which has been reduced from the earlier consumption levels by 24 percent (257,000 kilowatts) and 44 percent (334,000 gallons) respectively.

This decline is significant not only in terms of economic saving but also in reduction of the annual ecological footprint generated by the ministry by 24 percent from 908 tonnes to 691 tonnes each year. 
Half of bio-medical waste not disposed of properly: study

Only half of the total bio-medical waste generated in the country is treated according to rules while the rest is dumped with municipal solid waste, posing a risk to environment and human health, according to a recent study.

Out of 42,0461 kg per day of waste generation, only 24,0682 kg is treated and as many as 14,959 hospitals have been served show cause notices as defaulters, according to the report prepared by Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow.

Presently 50-55 per cent of bio-medical wastes is collected, segregated and treated as per Bio-medical Waste Management Rules. Rest is dumped with municipal solid wastes.

Out of 84,809 hospitals, only 48,183 are either using common bio-medical waste treatment facilities (which are 170 in number) or have engaged private agencies.

Giving details of the facilities at the hospital, the study points out that there are 391 incinerators, 2562 autoclaves, 458 microwaves, 145 hydroclaves and 6047 shredders in operation.

Generally bio-medical waste is classified into infectious waste and non-infectious waste categories. If infectious waste is not disposed off scientifically, it could contaminate non-infectious waste, threatening local community.

The Biomedical Waste Management Act, 1998, mandates hospitals to handle their wastes in an environmentally and scientifically sound manner.

The IIM which conducted the study on behalf of the environment ministry to evaluate the performance of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) points out that number of Common Bio-medical Wastes Treatment Facility (CBMWTF) has to be increased manifold.

The incineration of infectious medical wastes is mandatory for hospitals in the country, but many hospitals either do not have this facility or the machines are lying idle.

"Presently there are 157 facilities which are not adequate to handle all bio medical wastes generated. CBMWTF is to be set-up under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode," the report says.

Stressing that new technologies have to be promoted for destruction of toxic bio-medical wastes, it says the government is developing plasma technology for incinerating 50 tonnes per hour of biomedical waste.

With a rise in healthcare facilities and hospitals , the Central Pollution Control Board has set a target to treat 17,97779 kg/d of bio-medical waste by 2012 and adequate common facilities to treat the total waste generated in each state by 2022, the study adds.

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