Bengaluru: Private hospitals have been complaining that men claiming to be BBMP garbage marshals are harassing them and accusing them of not segregating waste properly.

Private hospital owners and staff are stating that the men come without any notice or government order and show pictures of mixed waste that hospitals are not sure is from their premises.

Dr R Ravindra, the president of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association, which has received complaints from several hospitals, was quoted by a news daily saying, “These men show up unannounced with some pictures. They need to inform us if they want to inspect the hospital, and a staff member will accompany them. How do we know these pictures are not fake?”

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He also said “They (BBMP marshals) demand a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh in cash, and threaten that if hospitals do not pay, the media will be informed. This appears to be a money-making racket.”

When asked about the same, D Randeep, special commissioner, Solid Waste Management, said “BBMP marshals can be identified by their uniforms with their names stitched on, and carry ID cards along with them”.

The special commissioner added “Bio-medical waste offences can attract a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. During the pandemic, bio-medical waste should not be mixed. Karnataka State Pollution Control Board is the overseeing authority. If hospitals find the fine steep, they can appeal to their zone’s joint commissioner.”