Civic body plans to post permanent security guards at the unit

Kozhikode City Corporation authorities may consider appointing permanent security guards at its lone plastic recycling unit at West Hill here as the unit’s functioning has been interrupted following threats and stone throwing by antisocial elements from a nearby residential area on the beach during nights.

The contractors, who are currently operating the units on lease from the Corporation, have already given notice to the Corporation saying they would not be able to operate the unit as per the existing terms and conditions if the disturbance and physical attack on their workers continued.

A. Balasubramanyan, one of the partners who run the unit, said that it had almost become impossible to carry out the recycling process during night hours as anti-social elements threw stones at the unit and threatened their workers. “They, mostly in an inebriated condition, threaten our workers asking them to stop,” said Mr. Balasubramanyan. They even set fire to a huge stack of plastic piled up in front of the unit recently. “Though the police launched an investigation into the case, no one has been arrested so far,” he said.

Some residents from the nearby Santhinagar Colony (Bangladesh colony) on the beach had complained of a pungent smell emanating from the unit. But Mr. Balasubramanyan ruled out this. “Moreover, the residential area is well over a few hundred metres away from the unit,” he said.

The Corporation, which rented out the unit for a monthly amount of Rs.26,000 plus tax had also received Rs.10 lakh as deposit from the contractors. Though the understanding was to run the unit round-the-clock, the unit was functioning only around 10 hours a day these days, said K. Ameer, the other partner.

“The workers are not ready to work during night these days for fear of attack,” said Mr. Ameer.

Mayor A.K. Premajam told The Hindu that the unit had been functioning for 10 months without making any disturbance or health hazards. “We are now thinking of employing private security guards at the unit to ensure its smooth functioning,” said Ms. Premajam.

The contractors said: “If the situation worsens further, we will have to stop its operations permanently,” they said.

A private plastic recycling unit hardly 200 metres from the Corporation’s unit, however, is functioning smoothly without any threat or disturbance from anyone.

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