It was a cautious welcome that Vilappil panchayat had for the directive of the High Court to set up an expert committee to study the environmental impact of the solid waste treatment plant there.
At least for some it was a sense of déjà vu. One leader of the Samyuktha Samra Samithi, who did not wish to be identified, told The Hindu that Monday’s High Court pronouncement would have been better received at Vilappil had the report of the advocate commission who visited the plant been discussed and acted upon in a meaningful manner.
“The woman advocate who came here as the commission was given so many details… so many pictures of the suffering caused by the plant. Whole albums of pictures were created for this. But what happened? We feel that her report was not discussed in a manner it ought to have been,” he pointed out. It is very unfortunate that the court remarked that what is happening at Vilappil is a political game. “If it is a game will all parties across the political spectrum unite against the plant? This is no game,” he added.
The representatives of various political parties who have joined to form the Samyuktha Samara Samithi would hold consultations with their respective organisations on Tuesday and the Samithi and the panchayat would meet on Wednesday to take a call on who to nominate as its member in the expert committee mandated by the High Court.
Meantime, the Vilappil Janakeeya Samithi too did not give an explicit welcome to the High Court suggestion. A Samithi activist wanted to know what more an expert committee study now, than what was studied much earlier by various departments of the government itself.