Corporation cites environmental, topographical reasons

A team of Corporation and Suchitwa Mission officials visited a government site near Palode here on Thursday as part of conducting a feasibility study for setting up a temporary garbage-treatment facility there.

According to sources, setting up of a temporary plant to process waste using windrow-composting technique on the two-acre site was under consideration. However, the Corporation officials vetoed the proposal citing environmental and topographical reasons. “The site is located in an environmental and ecologically fragile area. Besides, it is a hilly terrain. In order to set up a temporary waste-treatment plant, we will have to start right from the basics, beginning with the construction of approach roads to the site,” an official said.

Precarious condition

Meanwhile, the garbage disposal crisis in the city has aggravated with the Vilappilsala plant remaining closed for over a month. Landfills in vacant revenue land, suggested as a temporary measure to deal with the crisis, have reached a saturation point. Burning of plastic waste along city roads has also emerged as a serious health issue where cases of communicable diseases like dengue and chikungunya have already been reported in the past one month.

The Corporation has approached the High Court seeking police protection to transport garbage from the city to the Vilappilsala plant which was closed down by Vilappil panchayat on December 21, 2011 following agitations against the plant by the residents.

Although the reports submitted by Kerala State Pollution Control Board and the advocate commission appointed by the High Court on the running of the plant have been critical of the Corporation, officials from the local body have maintained that the reports have not been unfavourable.

“We have taken the observations made in the reports in a positive light. The main point made in both the reports is that the volume of waste transported to the plant be brought down to 90 tonnes. The Corporation has already started working on this through its source-level waste treatment project. Even otherwise, the quantity of biodegradable waste reaching the plant is only around 100 tonnes,” said Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar.

“Another recommendation made in the reports is to complete the construction work of the leachate-treatment plant within two months, which we can do if the Vilappilsala plant is re-opened,” he said. Even as the garbage crisis continues in the city, various political factions in the Corporation council, including the ruling LDF, have launched agitation on the issue. On Thursday, the LDF organised a public meeting at Gandhi Park in the city to protest against the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the State government in the issue.The BJP has launched a relay hunger strike in front of the Corporation office to protest against the alleged inefficiency of the Corporation and the State government in dealing with the issue.