Nixes plan to initiate action against local bodies for not renewing authorisation to handle solid waste

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board has shelved its plan to take legal action against 10 local bodies in the district, including Kochi Corporation, for failing to renew their authorisation under the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, for collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of municipal waste.

The board had earlier planned to file reports on non-compliance of municipal rules in courts within the jurisdiction of the local bodies. Ten local bodies that failed to renew the authorisation in the district include Kochi Corporation, Aluva, Perumbavoor, North Paravur, Tripunithura, Angamaly, Kothamangalam, Kalamassery, Maradu and Thrikkakara municipalities. This renders waste management systems followed by all these local bodies illegal and in violation of existing rules.

Reliable board sources pointed out that the decision not to invoke legal action was taken considering the efforts being made by the government to resolve various issues related to solid waste management across the State. Any action at this point will be detrimental to the interests of the government, they said.

According to official records, the authorisation given to Kochi Corporation had expired in December, 2010. The board should have issued legal notice to the secretary of the local body asking them to explain why legal action should not be taken under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act. But no action was taken against Kochi Corporation and nine other local bodies in the district.

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 board. The validity of the authorisation is five years.

PCB issues notice

The board has asked Kochi Corporation authorities not to carry out windrow composting at its solid waste treatment plant in Brahmapuram. The directive was based on the assumption that the treatment process was responsible for the foul smell reported at Irumpanam and nearby areas. The board has restricted solid waste treatment at the plant from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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