Since the Council meeting held on June 12, the issue of which firm would be entrusted with the responsibility of managing the plastic waste generated in the city has dominated the politics within the City Corporation.
It took centre stage during Friday’s Council session as well through a storm of debate and digressing arguments.
Mayor K. Chandrika announced that the agency would be selected only after an evaluation committee studied the individual terms of agreement of the four firms that responded to the Expression of Interest.
The committee would include the Additional Secretary, Health Officer, and Corporation Engineer.
K. Maheshwaran Nair of the UDF responded to the presentation of the motion first, alleging that it did not present terms uniformly and that it still lacked clarity. These related to carting away of plastic waste by utilising the shed at the Palayam market where the two plastic shredding machines were installed in September last. He said the guidelines laid out right at the tendering stage were vague.
LDF councillor A.J. Sukarno criticised the inaction by the State government in dealing with the waste management crisis in the city since the closure of the Vilappilsala plant.
Spurred on by the developments of the past week when a member of the ruling council, chairman of the welfare standing committee Palayam Rajan, threatened to resign because of this resolution, UDF councillors continued to demand further discussion on the agencies. This was in spite of the Mayor’s assurances that a decision would be made only after the committee’s approval.
Mr. Rajan said that as ward councillor, he was accountable for developments planned here and so he demanded an assessment of firms. A successful model for plastic waste collection and management could be created, he said, provided the clauses of the agreement were clear. Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar concluded the discussion saying this was a step towards efficient waste management as the plastic menace could finally be dealt with.
The mere mention of ‘solar’ sparked off another debate between the opposing fronts, replicating to a lesser degree the developments in the State Assembly. The resolution came under the works standing committee, pertaining to formation of a stakeholders’ committee for the implementation of the centrally-funded ‘Solar City’ programme.
Amid this din, one councillor protested that the Mayor did not grant him his turn to speak and he made his way to the well of the Council hall.