Says those who closed waste plant should provide alternative

Mayor K. Chandrika on Saturday lashed out at the State government, saying that it could not adopt double standards with city Corporations while dealing with the same issue and that it could not shirk its responsibility of ensuring the rule of law.

Inaugurating a panel discussion on solid waste management organised by the Centre of Science and Technology For Rural Development (COSTFORD) and the Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies here, Ms. Chandrika said the same attitude and approach that was seen while dealing with the Brahmapuram garbage disposal issue should be adopted by the government in the case of Vilappilsala as well.

At the same time, the government, which, unlike the Corporation, had the means of ensuring the rule of law, should see to it that the Supreme Court ruling on the Vilappilsala garbage factory was implemented.

Pointing out that the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation had done all that was possible within its power to get the factory operational again, the Mayor said those who closed the factory had the moral responsibility to come up with an alternative solution to the issue of waste disposal.

That the Corporation was ready to do what it could was evident in the manner in which the piled-up garbage in the city was cleared in just four days before the Attukal Pongala festival, that too, after the government had backed out in the last minute of a move to get the waste removed by a private firm. This was after keeping the Corporation waiting for over 20 days after it had pointed out the need to clear the garbage before the festival.

Largest plant

Stating that she would stick to her stance that it was up to the government to ensure that either the factory was opened or an alternative was found, Ms. Chandrika said none of the other places in the State, be it Kozhikode, Kollam, Brahmapuram in Ernakulam or Lalur in Thrissur, had a waste treatment plant of the capacity of Vilappilsala.

However, the government, which had come up with a solution to the Brahmapuram issue with a discussion that lasted a little more than an hour, was unable to do the same here, where it was a Congress-ruled panchayat that was in the eye of the storm.

Listing out one by one what the Corporation had done to solve the garbage mess in the State capital, Ms. Chandrika said Vilappilsala was an example of how anarchy would arise where the government failed to ensure the rule of law.

The discussion, which was also themed on how it was time to review the efficacy of the decentralised local governing body system in the context of the present garbage disposal controversy, later had presentations by senior scientist of the Centre for Earth Science Studies R. Ajaykumar Varma and C. Jayakumar of Thanal, an NGO.

Chairman of COSTFORD and Laurie Baker Centre K.P. Kannan spoke.

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