‘Stance of Vilappil panchayat, Janakeeya Samithi adamant'

Mayor K. Chandrika will stay away from the mediation meeting on the Vilappilsala solid-waste treatment plant issue to be held on Thursday.

Ms. Chandrika said she had decided not to take part in the meeting as a mark of protest against the ‘adamant stand' taken by the Vilappil panchayat and Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samithi regarding the reopening of the plant.

“In all the mediation meetings held so far, the panchayat and the Janakeeya Samithi have been very adamant about their stance that the plant will not be allowed to be reopened. Because of this, these meetings ended in a deadlock. What is the point of going ahead with such a mediation process when the other parties totally refuse to budge,” Ms. Chandrika asked.

The meeting to be held on Thursday will be convened by Suchitwa Mission executive director George Chackacherry who heads a mediation sub-committee constituted by the Kerala Mediation Centre of the High Court.

Ms. Chandrika said that although she would keep away from the meeting, to be held at Corporation Hall, senior officials of the Corporation would attend the meeting. Apart from Corporation officials, representatives of the Vilappil panchayat and the Janakeeya Samithi have been called for the mediation talk.

“Actually, there is no relevance for such a discussion when we have a Supreme Court verdict directing the reopening of the Vilappilsala plant.

Instead of taking immediate action on the court order, the government officials, through this mediation talk, are trying to persuade us to step back from our demand to reopen the plant. This is unacceptable to us,” the Mayor said.

She said she had already written letters to the Urban Affairs Minister and the DGP requesting the support of the government and the police force to reopen the plant.

Clean Well march

Meanwhile, a section of Kudumbasree Clean Well unit members, who lost their jobs following the closure of Vilappilsala plant, took out a march to the residence of Social Welfare Minister M.K. Muneer on Wednesday. Around 300 workers took part in the march organised by Kudumbasree Clean Well Thozhilali Samrakshana Vedi.

“Ever since the plant was closed, life has been difficult for these women, who were engaged in house-to-house collection of waste. Most of them have no other source of income and they cannot even afford to pay their house rent or the school fees of their children. Neither the State government nor the Corporation has done anything about this,” Samrakshana Vedi secretary M.A. Susy said.

She said that although the Kudumbasree Mission had written to the Social Welfare Department around a month ago requesting a financial assistance of Rs.10, 000 each to the Clean Well unit members in view of the loss of their livelihood, nothing had been done so far.

“When Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar visited SAT Hospital on Tuesday, he said there was a shortage of sanitation workers at the hospital and that this would be overcome soon. We request to the Minister to deploy the Clean Well workers as sanitation workers for the hospital,” Ms. Susy said.