The all-party meeting to discuss the issue of the ongoing agitation against the waste dumps of the Kannur and Thalassery municipalities will be held in the capital soon in the wake of the postponement of the meeting scheduled to be held here on January 27 in the presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the wake of the cancellation of all his official programmes in view of the official mourning announced after the death of Governor M.O.H. Farook.
Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph, who took the initiative to sort out the issues involved in the agitation by local residents against the landfills of the Kannur and Thalassery municipalities at Chelora and Pettippalam respectively and earlier convened two meetings here to talk to representatives of the action councils spearheading the protests, is now planning to hold the meeting in Thiruvananthapuram as the Chief Minister has no scheduled programme in Kannur till mid-February.
The initiatives taken by the Minister did not yield the desired effect because of the abstention of the action council representatives from the meetings he convened. Though the waste disposal works of the Kannur municipality at Chelora resumed following the consensus in the all-party meeting he had convened here on January 17 on re-starting the stalled garbage collection and disposal with police protection, the issue took a new turn when the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expressed its reservations about use of the police force to resume the garbage dumping.
The decision to hold a meeting of local MPs, MLAs, chairpersons of the two municipalities, panchayat presidents of Chelora and New Mahe and representatives of the action councils in the presence of the Chief Minister on January 27 was taken to end the stalemate following the agitation.
When contacted, the Minister told The Hindu that he spoke to the CPI(M) district secretary P. Jayarajan over the phone on Sunday to seek the latter’s support for ensuring the participation of the action council representatives in a new meeting he planned to convene on January 30 to solve the issue. Though the CPI(M) leader was agreeable to holding the meeting on Monday, the Chelora action council representatives let it be known that they would be attending the meeting if it was convened by the Chief Minister, he said. It was now proposed to hold the meeting in the presence of Mr. Chandy in Thiruvananthapuram on January 30 or 31, he added.
Announcing this, an official press release issued here on Sunday said that the Minister had sought the co-operation of the action councils to find an amicable solution to the garbage issue here. The Minister also urged the Kannur municipal authorities to wait till the meeting to be held on Monday or Tuesday before they resumed their stalled garbage removal. Though the municipality had revived its garbage disposal following the consensus at the January 17 meeting, its waste dumping works remained disrupted from January 24.