A mediation meeting convened by a subcommittee constituted by the Kerala Mediation Centre of the High Court on the Vilappilsala solid-waste-treatment plant issue once again failed to reach a consensus on Monday.
With the Vilappil panchayat and the Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samithi sticking to their stand on complete closure of the plant, the meeting dispersed without making any progress.
Mayor K. Chandrika, Vilappil panchayat president S. Shobhana Kumari, Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samithi president S. Burhan, subcommittee chairman and executive director of the Suchitwa Mission George Chackacherry, Local Self-government Department Principal Secretary James Varghese, and Secretary R.K. Singh were present at the meeting.
The agenda of the meeting was to get the work on the leachate treatment unit and sanitary landfill inside the Vilappilsala plant started. However, the Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samithi and panchayat representatives maintained that they would support transportation of construction material and machinery to the plant only if the government committed to a permanent closure of the plant.
“If the plant is to be closed, what is the point of constructing the leachate treatment unit and landfill. The Corporation cannot agree to any proposition that calls for a closure of the plant,” a Corporation official said.
Although Ms. Chandrika said only a small quantity of garbage, collected from roadsides and public spaces, would be transported to the plant until the construction work was completed, this was turned down by the protesters.
“We are firm on our stand not to allow any more garbage trucks into the plant. Our demand is for a complete closure of the plant at the earliest. If the plant is to be closed, then why would they want any treatment unit there,” Ms. Shobhana Kumari said.
Meanwhile, the Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samithi proposed that the Corporation organise a public awareness programme to convince the people of Vilappilsala about its proposal to modernise the plant. The Kerala Mediation Centre will hear the case on Wednesday.