Corporation, government still unsure about waste disposal

The civic authorities are bound to have a tough time dealing with the waste generated by the hordes of devotees that will arrive in the city for the Attukal pongala festival, in the backdrop of the ongoing agitation against the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant.

However, neither the city Corporation nor the State government has evolved a concrete solution to the issue. The problem remained unaddressed at a review meeting held recently to discuss the arrangements made for the festival.

Mayor K. Chandrika said that the Corporation was clueless about how to tackle the situation. “Although Urban Affairs Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty said at the review meeting that a separate meeting will be held to discuss the waste management issue with regard to the pongala festival, no meeting has been held so far. We do not know how the government is planning to go about it,” she said.

Ms. Chandrika added that around 80 loads of garbage were expected to be generated on pongala day alone. Apart from the bricks used to prepare pongala, a large amount of food and plastic waste too will be generated as many organisations will be offering free food and drinks to devotees.

Corporation health officer D. Sreekumar said that the civic body was planning to landfill the collected waste. “We did so in the previous years also. Very little waste used to be transported to Vilappilsala. We will have to identify land to landfill this waste,” he said. He said that Corporation officials were in the process of identifying vacant land for the purpose.

More sanitation workers

Corporation health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha said that an additional 1,800 sanitation workers would be deployed to clean up the main roads and public spaces in the city after the pongala. The cleaning process would be completed within eight hours.

“We will also deploy Kudumbasree Clean Well unit members, who are currently unemployed because of the agitation at Vilappilsala. We have also arranged seven tanker lorries to wash the roads after the clean-up. Cleaning up will not be an issue. Where to take the collected waste is the main issue. We are still in the process of identifying vacant land in the city for the purpose,” she said.