Fly-tippers are back in action as rat-infested garbage heaps are piling up along the roads in the city and its suburb. To make it worse, binmen are hauling the trash across the city in open trucks.

Tripunithura municipality, which had shown the white heat in waste management than its ham-handed counterparts around Kochi, has seen waste heaps grow more rapidly in the rains. Rotting garbage in the rains are a ticking bomb and diseases like rat fever could explode.

Chairman of the municipality R. Venugopal said the problem was much less severe now though the rains could have hamstrung the authorities in punishing those who toss garbage into public spaces.

He said cameras are there at key locations. But the rains had made it difficult to take follow-up action. He said that things would be better after the rains.

Mr. Venugopal said introduction of measures like pipe composting, bio-pots and bio-bins had cut down the amount of waste hitting the public spaces in the municipal area.

He claimed that there are 30,000 homes and 6,000 shops and business establishments in the municipal area and majority of the homes were managing the waste on their own. The shrinking amount of waste being trucked out of public places proves it, he said. The number of loads had come down from 25 to five now, he claimed.

Chairman of Kalamassery municipality Jamal Manakkadan said there was a problem of waste being deposited along National Highway 47 by vehicles passing through the municipality.

But the municipality will be taking waste management, even that of e-waste, seriously, he said. “From August 15, the municipal authority is launching a programme for segregation of waste and proper disposal,” said Mr. Manakkadan.

The problem of people throwing waste packed in plastic packets into public spaces is rampant in Thrikkakara municipal area. P. I. Mohammedali, chairman of the municipality, said that the municipal authority had readied a facility for plastic grinding, which was set to go on stream soon. He had also said that “waste was now being collected smoothly” and being sent to the Brahmapuram treatment facility.

A senior health official of the district said there had not been any report so far on the link between improper waste disposal and rapidly spreading diseases but that waste management had considerably improved in the city and its suburbs with the setting up of the centralised treatment facility at Brahmapuram.

Waste from Thrikkakara and Kalamssery municipalities was now being treated at Brahmapuram, he added.

One of the disturbing trends that continue to trouble health officials is the practice of moving waste materials during peak traffic hours in open trucks.

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