Discussions to be held with all stakeholders
The ambitious Lalur Model Project for Solid Waste Management (LAMPS) has hit a fresh roadblock with the new Mayor of the Thrissur Corporation I. P. Paul making it clear that another round of discussions was needed on the project.
The main objection raised against the LAMPS, a project for decentralised management of waste generated in the city, was about the sites allotted to regional waste treatment plants under the project.
Talking to The Hindu, the Mayor said that the corporation had to rethink the decision of the previous LDF council to set up a waste treatment plant on 1.30 acres near the Sakthan Thampuran fish and meat market.
“As the land is in the heart of the city, it could be used for more productive purposes,” he said.
Mr. Paul, however, added that the corporation would adopt a consensus approach on the issue by inviting all the stakeholders such as the Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithy, Lalur Malineekarana Viruddha Samara Samithy and the LAMPS implementation committee for a discussion shortly.
Finding a lasting solution to the Lalur issue was on top of the priority list in the election manifestoes of both the fronts.
The work under the LAMPS, which was officially launched in September, was stopped when the Vypari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithy secured a stay order against setting up a treatment plant near the Sakthan Thampuran fish market.
The over 1 acre area in front of the market is one of the six Regional Waste Processing Centres under the LAMPS.
The traders alleged that the plant would block the entrance to the market and deprive them of parking space.
Pathiyur Gopinath, chief coordinator of the LAMPS, alleged that the waste treatment project had been converted into a political issue.
“The project cannot go ahead unless the City Corporation initiates procedures for vacating the stay order for the plant at Sakthan Thampuran market,” said Mr. Pathiyur.
He said that allegations of the traders were baseless.
“The plant will be set up over 65 cents of the 1.30 acres in front of the Sakthan Thamuran market, leaving space for two entrances to the market and ample space for parking vehicles. It has been planned as a model project. Cleaning of comfort stations and repair of the old biogas plant in the market are also included in the project,” he said.
M. Jayaprakash, president of the Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithy said that the traders were not against decentralisation of garbage treatment.
“But the proposed plant near the market will adversely affect the functioning of the market. The corporation had taken an autocratic decision to set up the plant without realising the problems of traders. Such decisions should be taken only after detailed discussions with traders,” he said.
He alleged that the new plant would be yet another ill-advised project of the corporation like the non-functioning biogas plant, set up at a cost Rs. 30 lakh, a few years ago.
Meanwhile, Lalur Malineekarana Viruddha Samara Samithy has decided to block vehicles transporting waste from the Sakthan Thampuran market to the Lalur dumpyard from November 30 if the corporation failed to take steps to resume the LAMPS.
Criticising the arguments against setting up a treatment plant in the heart of the city, Samara Samithy chairman T. K. Vasu asked: “If the market, which generates tonnes of waste, can be located in the heart of the city, why not a treatment plant?”
Mr. Vasu said the Samara Samity could sense a hidden agenda behind these attempts as the uniformity in the opinions of the new Mayor and the Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithy cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence.