The city’s claim for metropolitan status comes at a time when nearly 10 local bodies, including the Kochi Corporation, have failed to evolve even a basic plan for collection, segregation, transportation, and disposal of municipal waste.
The heaps of waste piled up on the city roads and its outskirts raise the question of how Kochi could attain the Metro status without addressing the key issue of solid waste management.
Besides Kochi Corporation, the local bodies that have failed to evolve a scientific plan for collection and disposal of waste include Aluva, Perumbavoor, North Paravur, Tripunithura, Angamaly, Kothamangalam, Kalamassery, Maradu and Thrikkakara municipalities.
Interestingly, the corporation and the municipalities are yet to renew the authorisation under the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, for collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of municipal waste.
This renders waste management systems followed by all these local bodies illegal and in violation of existing rules.
According to the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, the municipal authority or an operator of a facility shall make an application in Form-I for grant of authorisation for setting up waste processing and disposal facility, including landfills, from the State Pollution Control Board. The validity of the authorisation is five years.
The solid waste management issue is expected to turn worse, with the commissioning of mega projects like SmartCity.
Even though the promoters of the project have come up with a master plan, there is still no clarity on the solid waste management plan in the township that is expected to generate close to one lakh jobs.
The State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) had recently suggested that SmartCity authorities should develop an efficient solid waste management system of their own, as the project is considered as a mega dream initiative of the State.