Authorities urged to be prompt in submission and execution of projects

The Corporation is lax in fully utilising the Union government fund he procured for the management of solid waste in the city, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor has said.

Speaking at a Meet-the-Press programme here, Dr. Tharoor said the civic body had only utilised 47 per cent of the Rs.24.56 crore allotted by the Centre. Only 35 per cent of waste management-related work had so far been completed.

The Union government had allocated him Rs.14 crore for local area development. As much as 67 per cent of the funds had been fruitfully utilised to construct 10 bridges, 80 roads, augment piped drinking water supply in 18 localities, and to equip scores of primary health centres, he said.

The district authorities too had a role in ensuring that MP’s funds for local development was properly utilised and he should not be blamed for delay in submission of projects and execution of works, Dr. Tharoor said.

The garbage pile up in the capital would not have occurred had the Corporation ensured that the leachate treatment, garbage segregation, and air pollution control plants, as envisaged in the original plan for the garbage treatment facility at Vilapilsala, had been put in place prior to ‘irresponsibly’ allowing the plant to start functioning without these safe guards, he said.

The people at Vilapilsala had a genuine grievance.

The city needed a modern centralised plant and subsidiary plants to treat the huge amounts of urban waste its sizeable population generated daily.

There should be a systematic segregation of waste at source, including households. The sewage treatment plant at Muttathara was state-of-the-art and had the capacity to meet the futuristic needs of the city. Once the plant became operational next year, the untreated sewage load in canals and rivers coursing through the city would be reduced substantially, he said.

Dr. Tharoor said he had sent scores of businessmen, who offered an array of financially feasible projects ranging from converting garbage to bricks and reusable forms of energy, to the Mayor.

High Court Bench

The city stank from piled up garbage and was an ‘embarrassment’ to all its residents. He said other cities, such as Kochi and Thrissur, had found ways to successfully dispose of the garbage. He said he would continue to work for a High Court Bench in the capital.

Press Club president Pradeep Pillai and secretary G. Rajiv were present.