The Fort Kochi Zero-Waste Tourism Destination project that is aimed at ensuring scientific garbage disposal in the tourist locale that was once famed for its clean streets, was inaugurated on Friday by V.K. Ibrahim Kunju, MLA.

A joint initiative of Kerala Tourism, State Kudumbasree Mission and the Corporation of Cochin, the Rs 43-lakh project aims to segregate, collect and treat waste in divisions 1 and 27 of the corporation with the help of residents, shop owners and visitors.

By institutionalising garbage treatment and bringing it under one umbrella in the area, the agencies hope to ensure the locale's cleanliness, generate jobs and also money by selling processed garbage.

This would also enhance the level of cleanliness and hygiene among people and reduce mosquitoes, flies and rodents. These would ultimately lead to a better lifestyle and also keep diseases at bay.

Garbage heaps

Under the programme, domestic waste would be processed at houses using vermi-composting and aerobic composting, with the help of residents' associations.

Coconut shells would be collected and used for making handicrafts and newspapers for making paper bags, while bottles would be cleaned and used to store liquids like floor cleaners.

In his address, Mr Ibrahim Kunju said that tourists and others visiting Fort Kochi are forced to endure heaps of rotten garbage along many streets. “People must also stop emptying plastic and other waste into canals and water bodies.”

‘Change lifestyle'

“People must change their lifestyle and also attitude to garbage disposal,” said District Collector M. Beena. “Even after so much of awareness, people continue to demand plastic covers from shops and wantonly discard them in public places. Though Fort Kochi is blessed with plenty of natural beauty, garbage heaps mar its image.”

In her presidential address, Mayor Mercy Williams said that the piling up of dirt also affects public health.

She exhorted people to segregate garbage at the source so that treating the refuse is made easier in the decentralised plants. Former Mayor K.J. Sohan too was present.

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