Agitation against solid waste treatment plant at Vilappilsala

Vilappil panchayat representatives will on Sunday meet environmental activist Medha Patkar to seek her support for the ongoing agitation against the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant.

A team comprising panchayat vice-president Vinod Raj, members A. Georgekutty (of the United Democratic Front - UDF), and Vallimangalam Chandran (Bharatiya Janata Party – BJP) will meet Ms. Patkar in Ernakulam on Sunday.

“We have an appointment with Ms. Patkar in Ernakulam on Sunday. She is a leading environmental activist and we hope she will be empathetic to our cause and struggle. All we want to do is request her support for the agitation,” Mr. Raj said.

Panchayat president S. Shobhana Kumari said the panchayat representatives will request Ms. Patkar to visit the plant.

“We want her to come here and see for herself the situation. We do not know if she will have time to visit the plant this time but we will make a formal request,” she said.

The Vilappil panchayat has launched a mass campaign to raise funds to fight the case against the city Corporation in the Supreme Court.

“So far, we were organising awareness programme at the ward level. The actual money collection will begin tomorrow. All ward members and Kudumbasree members will be involved in the process. The panchayat president will inaugurate the money-collection campaign at Puliyarakonam ward,” Ms. Shobhana Kumari said.

The panchayat had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against the High Court's interim order directing the police to provide protection to trucks transporting garbage to the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant.

The High Court order came on a case filed by the Corporation. Supreme Court senior advocate E.M.S. Anam is the panchayat's counsel in the apex court.