Garbage heap at medical college hospital a fire risk

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The Hindu, Kozhikoda Updated: May 16, 2016 07:39 IST

A garbage dump near the medical college catches fire often

Rushing to the same spot to douse the fire twice a month could irritate even the best fire and rescue squad. But the Fire and Rescue Services personnel in Vellimadukunnu fire station in Kozhikode have been doing this, and more, for years due to the poor waste management in Government Medical College, Kozhikode.

The huge heap of garbage near the medical college casualty catches fire every once in a while. The heap mostly consists of discarded cartons that carried drugs or medical equipment, though food packets, old furniture, discarded clothes and even electronic equipment find place in this pile very often.

“We rush to the Medical College at least once or sometimes twice a month to douse the fire in this pile. It was on April 10 that we rushed to the spot last. Before that, we had attended to it on March 8 and 23,” said Abdul Gafoor, Station Officer at the Vellimadukunnu fire station.

The fire personnel feel that the fire here does not happen accidentally, but it is set on fire regularly. “Some one may light it, with the good intention of burning it off. But it often goes out of hand and becomes uncontrollable and that is when we are called,” Mr.Gafoor said.

The pile near the casualty, next to the waste treatment plant is not the only one that often demands the fire personnel’s attention. There is one near the Indian Coffee House in the campus that is also a frequent site of fire.

“Fire in the medical college is common during the summer. Thankfully no one has been injured by it so far. But we can not say it would not happen some time”, Mr.Gafoor added.

Interestingly, the Medical College had two years ago installed an incinerator to burn the waste, but which got damaged recently.

750 kg daily

It had a capacity to burn 150 kg of waste at a time when the hospital generated around 750 kg of waste every day.

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