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Municipality, panchayat lock horns over Vadavathoor again

Staff Reporter
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Residents block garbage-laden truck headed for the dumping yard

Deadline nears:Municipal authorities say efforts are on to ensure organic waste generated in the town is not transported to the dumping yard after December 31.— File Photo
Deadline nears:Municipal authorities say efforts are on to ensure organic waste generated in the town is not transported to the dumping yard after December 31.— File Photo

Just three months after entering into an agreement, the Kottayam municipality and Vijayapuram grama panchayat are at loggerheads yet again over the dumping yard at Vadavathoor.

On Wednesday, a garbage-laden truck headed for the dumping yard prompted the municipality and the panchayat to lock horns again.

Residents and members of the action council, led by grama panchayat president Baiju Cherukkottayil, blocked the truck.

Vehicles were parked across the entrance of the yard to prevent the truck from entering it.

Although a team from the Manarcad police station arrived on the scene, they could not stop the residents from blocking the truck.

Mr. Cherukkottayil said the blockade was organised in protest against the apathy of municipal authorities in dealing with the foul odour emanating from the yard. Heavy rainfall in the past few days has led to leakage of leachate from the waste.

“Though the issue was raised at regular meetings of the monitoring committee, headed by the District Collector, the municipal authorities have shown scant regard to the problem faced by the residents in the locality.

“Our action was not in violation of the agreement. There was a consensus on the need to adopt measures to prevent the spread of foul odour and leachate from the garbage,” he said.

However, the municipality has criticised the stance of the grama panchayat. Kottayam municipal chairman M.P. Santhosh Kumar has accused the panchayat leaders of having violated the terms of agreement.

According to him, the municipality was making rapid progress in implementing the sanitation programme as per schedule. Earnest efforts were being made to ensure that organic waste was not transported to the yard after December 31.

Notwithstanding the accusations, the panchayat is firm on its stance. Mr. Cherukkottayil said transportation of garbage would be prevented until the municipality looked into the issues that had been raised.

A meeting of the action council is scheduled to be held on Thursday to discuss the matter.

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