Mayor K. Chandrika has said that she has already initiated steps to send official communication requesting the State government and Police Department to facilitate transportation of clay and machinery to the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant.

She was responding to Tuesday's Supreme Court pronouncement rejecting Vilappil panchayat's Special Leave Petition against the reopening of the plant.

Ms. Chandrika said that in view of the apex court's order favouring the Corporation, the State government should urgently initiate steps to resume works on the leachate treatment unit and sanitary landfill inside the Vilappilsala plant.

“If the Vilappil panchayat and protesters cooperate in transporting clay and machinery needed to complete the works on sanitary landfill and leachate treatment unit, the City Corporation is willing to postpone the transportation of garbage to the plant. However, if they resist despite the court directive we will let the law take its course,” Ms. Chandrika told The Hindu.

All-party meeting

Meanwhile, Vilappil panchayat president S. Shobhana Kumari said that the panchayat would decide its next course of action on the issue after convening an all-party meeting on Thursday.

“We respect the court verdict. But the fact remains that the people of Vilappil are against the plant. More than 50,000 people are part of this agitation. The panchayat cannot overlook the people's sentiments,” she said.

The court directive has also exposed rifts between the panchayat and the Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samithi, which is spearheading the agitation against the plant. Samithi president S. Burhan said that the there had been lapses on the part of the panchayat in dealing with the case against the Corporation.

“Instead of asking the State government to immediately close down the plant, the panchayat has now earned an unfavourable court directive against the agitation,” Mr. Burhan said.

He added that the onus was now on the State government to convince the court that the waste treatment plant needed to be shut down. “A democratic government should uphold the sentiments of its people. Courts are also for people. If the ruling of the court is against the people, it cannot be implemented,” he said.

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