To take forward her predecessor’s stand on treatment plant issue

Any hope that the city Corporation may have had of ending the impasse on the garbage issue following the change of guard in the administration of the Vilappil grama panchayat has been dashed with the new panchayat chief P. Sunitha Kumari promising to continue with the stand adopted by her predecessor against the garbage treatment plant there.

Shortly after assuming charge as president, Ms. Sunitha Kumari told The Hindu over phone that the panchayat would continue to partner with the Janakeeya Samithi, which spearheaded the agitation against the dumping of waste by the Corporation at the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant, in its struggle against the opening of the dumping yard.

She categorically stated that there would not be any dilution in its stand, and the panchayat would shortly convene its committee to discuss the modalities to be adopted to continue the momentum of the agitation.

“It’s an issue we took up for the people of Vilappilsala. Just because the mantle of power has changed hands, the stand cannot be diluted. The issue is of importance, because it concerns the health of the people and protecting our natural surroundings from pollution,” she said.

Echoing her feeling, past president F. Shobana Kumari said it was the collective decision of the panchayat and the people of Vilappilsala to oppose the dumping of waste at the treatment plant.

Before demitting office, Ms. Kumari had convened a meeting to express solidarity with 14 persons against whom cases were registered during the blockade of Corporation trucks carrying waste to the treatment plant in 2011, vice-president of the panchayat Vinod Raj said. “It shows our resolve to continue with the agitation,” he said.

Ms. Sunitha Kumari said her priority was to encourage the people of Vilappilsala to adopt decentralised garbage management.

The initiative, she said, was taken to address the garbage problem faced by the local people and push the city Corporation authorities into taking up decentralised garbage management programmes, instead of nurturing hopes of opening the treatment plant at Vilappilsala.

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