Encouraged by the growing people's movements against the dumping of solid waste in public places, the Vadavucode-Puthencruz and Kunnathunadu panchayats here have decided not to provide licence to the proposed solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram capable of processing about 500 tonnes of waste daily.

The move comes in the wake of renewed efforts by the Department of Local Self Government to establish a modern plant at the Kochi Corporation's Brahmapuram site, which falls within the limits of Kunnathunadu and Vadavucode-Puthencruz panchayats. The facility is among the three such projects being planned by the government across the State.

Extending their unilateral support to the people of Vilappil panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram who protested against the dumping of waste at the Vilappilsala plant on Monday, Rama Saju, president of the Vadavucode-Puthencruz panchayat, and Shaila Noushad, president of Kunnathunadu grama panchayat, told The Hindu that the government would have to face strong people's resistance against the move to set up a new plant.

Ms. Saju said that the unchecked dumping of waste at the now defunct Brahmapuram plant had turned the lives of thousands of residents in Vadavucode-Puthencruz panchayats miserable. “Our wells have become polluted. People here experience a lot of health problems. Many people fled from here unable to bear the stench emanating from the plant,” she said.

Noting that the local residents would oppose the move to start a new plant at Brahmapuram, Ms. Noushad said that the panchayats would also approach the Supreme Court against the move to dump waste generated in various municipalities in Ernakulam district at Brahmapuram. “How can we support the move to turn our place in to a yard for waste generated in other places?” she asked.

Abdul Basheer K.A., convener of the Kochi Corporation Malinya Nikshepa Virudha Action Council, said that they were planning to approach the Vigilance Court seeking a detailed inquiry into allegations of corruption in the establishment of the now defunct plant of the Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram.

The local body had wasted about Rs.20 crore from the public exchequer by setting up an unscientific plant, he said.

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