Chandy holds meeting on waste disposal; decision likely on Monday

The State government on Thursday put on hold its proposal to dump garbage in select quarries in and around the capital city following a spirited protest by the local people at Kallidichavila where the government planned to deposit garbage in an abandoned quarry.

At a meeting, here on Thursday, chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the government is understood to have decided to resume any activity on this front only on Monday. Mr. Chandy said representatives of all political parties were briefed days ago on the government’s plans and that they had given their approval for the scheme to use quarries as dumping sites for garbage.

“I don’t understand why some people’s representatives should now oppose this. While it is true that the government does not want to use force against protesters, it is a fact that the city’s garbage has to be deposited at some place. The situation is such that this cannot be delayed any further,” he said. Asked whether the government would hold discussions with people’s representatives, he said many such discussions had already taken place.

Meantime, the city Corporation continued to grapple with burgeoning piles of garbage. Corporation officials said the garbage problem was dangerously close to getting out of hand in about a dozen wards in the heart of the city.

Corporation health officer D. Sreekumar told The Hindu that there was acute lack of space to bury solid waste so much so that that at places such as the Fort area, Puthen Steet, Sreekanteswaram, Palkkulangara, Chala and Chenthitta, the Corporation had to dump the garbage by the roadside and spray a bacterial powder developed by the Kerala Agricultural University, Vellayani.

“We separate plastic from the waste piles and spray this powder. This helps reduce the stink and also makes garbage decompose much faster that normal.

In the Ulloor area, we have had people come to purchase the compost generated from garbage,” he explained. Mr. Sreekumar, however, hastened to add that this scheme may fall apart once the monsoon sets in.

The bacterial inoculum would be washed away in the rain and this would lead to rotting piles of garbage on the roads. “This would certainly pave the way for a health crisis,” he added.