The plant, to come up in about two acres, would be replicated in three other areas in the city, with the capacity of each plant to be decided later.

The State government, on Monday, made clear its intentions to go ahead with setting up modern decentralised garbage treatment plants in the city, with the sites to be at Chala, Kazhakuttam, Nemom, and Vattiyurkavu. (For the Chala plant, tenders had been issued and agreements signed).

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar and Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali, after an all-party meet on the garbage issue held at Durbar Hall here, told the media that political parties had extended their support to the government’s efforts to evolve a solution to the issue and that it had been agreed upon during the meeting that political parties would take it up as their responsibility to convince the public of the safety of the proposed plants.

Pointing out that the Chala project was yet to take off after all arrangements were in place only because the public had protested, Mr. Ali said it was agreed that garbage from only Chala and Manacaud would be treated at the said plant, which would have a capacity of 35 tonnes a day. The fear among the public was that Chala could become another Vilappilsala. However, a meeting would be convened on Wednesday with local representatives to assuage their fears and to convince that the plant would not turn out to be a curse on the area. The plant, to come up in about two acres, would be replicated in three other areas in the city, with the capacity of each plant to be decided later.

Mr. Sivakumar, announcing that a separate meeting with legislators and other public representatives would be convened later to discuss how the garbage piling up in the city could be tackled, said a meeting would be held on January 31 with public representatives, local leaders, trade union leaders, and other representatives from Kazhakuttam, Vattiyurkavu, and Nemom to discuss the sites for treatment plants in those constituencies and drum up public support for these plants.

All plants would use the same technology.

Mr. Ali, replying to a query, said the issues concerning the mobile incinerator would be settled shortly and the equipment would be pressed back into service in a couple of days. There were no clearance issues from the Pollution Control Board and the incinerator would continue to be a short-term arrangement. Once the other treatment plants came up, the machine would be handed over to the Suchitwa Mission and not any Corporation, he said.

Apart from Mr. Ali and Mr. Sivakumar; Mayor K. Chandrika; V. Sivankutty and M.A. Vahid, MLAs; Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary Kadakampally Surendran; and representatives of all political parties attended the meeting.