On Monday, when the State government placed the order for a gasification plant to be installed on two acres of land at Chala, a meeting called by Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhy Ali to discuss pre-monsoon sanitation activities saw Mayor K. Chandrika staging a walkout. (Gasification is the process that converts organic or fossil based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide).
The Mayor said later that the government should abide by the Supreme Court verdict on reopening the Vilappilsala garbage plant.
While the Mayor accused the government of seeking to wash its hands off the garbage crisis in the capital city by asking each Corporation councillor to identify land in the respective wards to bury garbage, Mr. Ali maintained that Monday's meeting was convened to elicit suggestions from people's representatives regarding sites where sanitary landfills can be maintained on a bulk basis.
“I never suggested that ward councillors find land to bury garbage. That was never the point of today's meeting,” he told The Hindu. Prior to the meeting the government held discussions with MLAs of the four Assembly constituencies in Thiruvananthapuram and briefed them on the need to find large sites where bulk landfills can be done, he added. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Ms. Chandrika said she planned to move a contempt petition in the Supreme Court on the Vilappilsala issue.
“We have been burying tonnes of garbage in the capital city. All the sites are now full. If more garbage is buried, wells, and water bodies would be polluted. I went to the meeting expecting the government to say something about a new technology for solving the city's garbage crisis. But the government asked us to find land to dump more garbage. That would be mocking the Supreme Court and its verdict,” she said. A lot of studies have been done on various technologies for solid waste treatment in the capital city. Some people even went to Germany for this. However, nothing has materialised from all this. The government seems to have an ulterior motive in not saying anything about Vilappisala and in not aiding the Corporation in reaching clay to the plant so that the existing garbage can be treated.