Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 15
As the dust settled after completion of the Bihar Assembly elections, the state poll machinery is involved overtime to ensure disposal of nearly 160 tonnes of biomedical waste in the form of gloves, face masks and empty sanitiser bottles used by polling personnel and voters in view of the Covid-19 protocol.
To ensure voters’ safety, polling staff and security personnel in the first-ever polls held amid the pandemic, the Election Commission had procured 18 lakh face shields, 70 lakh face masks, 5.4 lakh single use rubber gloves for polling and security personnel and 7.21 crore “one hand” single use polythene gloves for voters to press the EVM button and sign the register at the polling stations. It had also bought a total of 29 lakh hand sanitiser bottles of 100 ml and 500 ml.
According to the guidelines issued by the ECI, the poll authorities in Bihar were mandated to sanitise the polling stations a day before election and three times on the day of the election.
Officials in the state election body said roughly 160 tonnes of biomedical waste was generated. All districts have its biomedical waste disposal agency, they said, adding that the challenge is the agency lifts the waste from health centres and hospitals, but not from polling stations and in view of this, waste workers have been appointed to deal with it.