Ready to accept any alternative: Mayor

“We are not insistent on sending the garbage from the city to Vilappilsala itself. If the government can facilitate another means for waste management, the Corporation will follow that course,” said Mayor K. Chandrika.

She was speaking to mediapersons following a meeting held with poet and activist B. Sugathakumari and Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan at the AKG Centre here.

Asked about the possibility of the city Corporation withdrawing the cases filed at the Kerala High Court, the Mayor said that no decision had been made in this regard.

“Comrade Pinarayi has offered his support and said that the wishes of the people should be taken into account,” Ms. Sugathakumari said. However, he added that other options should be presented to the Corporation without which the civic body could not withdraw the case. She too underlined the need for alternative measures.

The poet said that at the meeting with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali held earlier in the day, she was promised a final decision on the capital city’s waste disposal over the next three days.

Ms. Sugathakumari and chairman of the Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi P. Gopinathan Nair had held discussions with the Mayor and Corporation officials on Monday evening prior to the meeting with the CPI (M) State secretary.

“The Corporation can agree to the closure of the Vilappilsala plant only if another solution is offered,” she said.

Quarry option

On whether the quarry option served as a viable alternative, Ms. Sugathakumari did not overtly state that this route was a clear no-go. A clear scientific method must be adopted towards the quarry option and other decentralised options, she said.

“We hope that a final decision can be reached by the end of this week,” she said.

Legal issues

Regarding the High Court case, Ms. Sugathakumari said that they had asked the government to send a letter to the court on their predicament. “When an entire panchayat stands together and denies entry, the government will not be able to do anything. If the court says that the government has failed to carry out its orders, it needs to be convinced that the people cannot be suppressed by force,” she said. Mr. Nair added that the Chief Minister had cautioned that the legal web cast by the High Court case had posed restrictions on how much the government could proceed. “We need to understand that this is a problem affecting everyone. Each house needs to embrace simple measures to make some headway,” he said.