Eight local bodies in Ernakualm district, including the Kochi Corporation and seven municipalities, have failed to renew the authorisation under the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000 for collection, segregation, transportation and suitable disposal of municipal waste.

The municipalities that have not renewed the authorisation provided by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board are Aluva, Angamaly, Kalamassery, Kothamangalam, North Paravur, Perumbavur and Muvattupuzha.

The authorisation given to the Tripunithura municipality will expire on January 19, 2012.

The newly-formed Maradu and Thrikkakara municipalities have not yet applied for authorisation while Eloor's application has not been approved after it was found “unsatisfactory”.

The delay by the civic bodies to renew the authorisation made all its waste disposal operations “illegal and in violation of the municipal solid waste rules.” The secretaries of these local bodies are liable to face legal action under the Environment Protection Act for their inaction.

The failure of the local bodies to implement the rules has come to the fore a day after the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court directed the Ernakulam District Collector, Kochi Mayor, municipal chairpersons and secretaries in the district to appear in person on December 22 to explain the collection and disposal of garbage under their regions.

According to the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, the municipal authority or an operator of a facility shall make an application in Form-I for grant of authorisation for setting up waste processing and disposal facility, including landfills, from the State board. The validity of the authorisation is five years.

It is reliably learnt that the authorisation provided to Kochi Corporation was valid only up to April 30, 2010. The State Pollution Control Board had issued notices on January 21 and July 18 this year asking the civic body to renew the authorisation.

Senior board officials said the local bodies should have organised house-to-house collection of municipal solid waste through community bin (central bin) or house-to-house collection or collection on regular pre-informed timings, as per the provisions included under the municipal solid waste rules.

The civic bodies should also devise collection of waste from slums and squatter areas or localities, including hotels, restaurants, office complexes and commercial areas. Waste from slaughter houses, meat and fish markets, fruits and vegetable markets, which are biodegradable, should be managed scientifically.

Board sources said that the corporation and the seven municipalities had failed to adhere to the rules.

Kochi Corporation among defaulting local governments.

More In: KERALA | NATIONAL