Focus on setting up decentralised treatment plants

The State government will come up with a solution to the waste management crisis in the city ahead of the onset of monsoon, Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhy Ali said here on Wednesday.

A special Cabinet meeting, convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, will discuss the issue on Thursday, he said.

The Minister was addressing mediapersons after inaugurating a Bio-mechanical Organic Waste Convertor installed at the Kerala State Housing Board Colony at Pattoor. The decentralised waste treatment plant had been installed by the Pattoor Housing Accommodation Scheme Apartment Owners' and Allottees' Association (PHAS).

“Waste management has become a major crisis in the entire State. The government has already initiated steps to construct centralised and decentralised plants across the State. However, the situation in Thiruvananthapuram calls for urgent attention and we will come up with an alternative system to deal with the crisis before the onset of monsoon,” he said.

Mr. Ali said long-term waste treatment plants proposed for the city included a 35-ton power-generating waste treatment plant, to be set up in five months. Another 500-ton plant would be constructed at Brahmapuram in Kochi. “The tender process for this project has started,” he said.

Apart from solid waste management, liquid waste treatment facilities and sewerage network across the State also need to be improved.

Water quality

“According to reports, most wells, even in the rural areas of our State, are badly polluted. We are 10 years behind our age when it comes to waste management,” he said.

K. Muraleedharan, MLA, who presided over the function, said the city was on the verge of a major public health crisis.

“The monsoon, expected to set in anytime now, will only worsen the situation. Unless we come up with alternative decentralised arrangements we will have to face a major health problem,” he said.

Mr. Muraleedharan lauded the PHAS residents for setting up the plant in their colony, when most people in the city were opposing waste treatment plants in their locality.

Corporation Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar, ward councillor Kumari Padmanabhan, PHAS president Jayashankar B. Nair, and secretary John Samuel were also present at the function.