The municipality will help set up 1,000 small biogas plants and establish around 5,000 compost units.

Thrikkakara municipality has claimed a tentative victory in its long-running battle for sustainable system of waste disposal with the recent tie-up to use the Brahmapuram facility belonging to Kochi Corporation.

However, the move has been described as a facile solution to a difficult and complex problem by residents’ associations. One of them even warned that the municipality continued to sit on a bomb of epidemics given that it would be a year before the Brahmapuram facility got its best equipment.

The municipality’s efforts to encourage localised waste treatment plants have failed and waste continued to be dumped into a huge pit in the municipal area till recently.

Health Standing Committee Chairman V.D. Suresh said the municipal authority would spend Rs. 1.39 crore on waste disposal systems in the municipality this financial year.

He denied the allegation by residents that waste was still being disposed of in the dump close to the district administrative headquarters in Kakkanad.

He is confident that biogas plants and compost units, which will be distributed at heavily discounted rates, together with the system to dispose of organic waste in the Brahmapuram plant will solve the problem of waste in the municipal area.

“At present we are sending only organic waste to Brahmapuram. Kudumbashree units are engaged in bringing segregated wastes from households and they are loaded on lorries to be sent to Brahmapuram,” he said.

The municipality would help set up 1,000 small biogas plants and establish around 5,000 compost units during the current financial year, he said.

However, the residents are still suspicious of the projects drawn up by the municipality given its past failures. President of Kunnumpuram Residents’ Association Salim Kunnumpuram expressed doubts as to how long the tie-up with the corporation would work.

The agreement is that the Municipality will pay Rs. 600 a tonne to the corporation for organic waste to be dumped at Brahmapuram.

This is a drain on municipality’s resources, said M. S. Anil Kumar, president of Thrikkakara Residents’ Associations’ Apex Council. He expressed apprehension about Brahmapuram, which is already raising a stink.

He said the municipality should encourage people to process waste at source and provide building tax concession to those who set up such facilities in their households.

The municipality has around 17,000 households and around 30,000 business establishments. The municipal area generates between four and five tonnes of waste a day.

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