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Monsoon brings anxiety to residents as authorities dump Vadavathoor yard

Special Correspondent
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Tendering process for capping waste at dumping yard still in initial stage

POTENTIAL THREAT:Mound of waste at Vadavathoor dumping yard in Kottayam.— Photo: By Special Arrangement
POTENTIAL THREAT:Mound of waste at Vadavathoor dumping yard in Kottayam.— Photo: By Special Arrangement

Popular agitations, court interventions and tall claims by the authorities have not made any change in the situation at Vadavathoor dumping yard. With a few days left for the onset of monsoon, everything remains the same at Vadavathoor, where dumping of waste is still on despite the waste processing came to a halt years ago.

Although the municipal authorities have three proposals before them, they have not implemented any project to better the situation at the dumping yard. It had been decided to cap the more than 60-year-old mound of waste at the yard and process the waste being dumped by the municipality at a meeting called by the Home Minister last year. The meeting was attended by State government officials and municipal authorities. The major portion of the waste would be processed at the source itself, the meeting decided. However, the plans were not implemented.

In March this year, the municipal authorities decided to cover the areas of the yard, where the leachate from the waste created trouble for the local people, with tarpaulin sheets. The third plan was to expedite the plan of processing waste at the source.

A nightmare

“Nothing has happened here. The only development so far is the closure of the waste processing unit that had been functioning here. In spite of the closure of the unit, the authorities are dumping waste in the name of a court order, said Paulson Peter, convener of the Action Council spearheading the agitation against the dumping yard. He said this monsoon could become a nightmare as communicable diseases were already threatening the region.

Procedural delay

According to municipal chairman M.P. Santhosh Kumar, procedural bottlenecks have to be cleared before beginning the capping process. “Tendering process has only begun. Covering the area with tarpaulin could also take another two weeks. We have to cover over 1 lakh sq ft,” he said. He added that the tender process for the procurement of tarpaulin had been completed. The rotary club of Kottayam East will take up the waste processing at source in five of the central wards of the municipality as a pilot project for their ‘Clean Green Kottayam Project’ being implemented with technical support from Germany.

The project will be implemented with the close coordination of residents’ associations in the wards 13, 19, 21, 22 and 49 that extend from the district collectorate to Baker Junction area. The project will cover residential units as well as commercial institutions. The club will sponsor 18 volunteers to ensure pipe composting is being taken up in the house holds. They will also remove the plastic waste. The Janamaithi police too will associate with the project.

The club has tied up with an agency for procuring the plastic waste from these wards. “If proved successful, we will extend the project and engage rag pickers in an organised manner to remove the waste,”said Bijumon Kurian, president. The project will get under way on Sunday. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will inaugurate the project.

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