Court directive on civic body’s plea

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Pollution Control Board experts to inspect the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant to find out the present state of affairs and the feasibility of running a plant there.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K. Vinod Chandran issued the directive while hearing a petition filed by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation for police protection for operating the plant. The Bench ordered the presence of representatives of the Corporation, especially the health officer and health inspector, during inspection so that they could apprise the PCB team of the steps taken and also of the machinery brought to the plant. The court asked the president and the secretary of the Vilappil panchayat to be present at the time of inspection.

Counsel for the Corporation N. Nandakumara Menon told the court that the board had visited the spot and submitted a report more than an year ago indicating steps for curbing pollution.

However, the Corporation was not allowed to undertake any steps except removal of solid waste.

In its report, the PCB had suggested reduction in the volume of garbage used in the plant, as the capacity of the plant was much lesser than the garbage collected. It had a capacity to process only 90 tonnes, but the garbage dumped in the plant came to 203 tonnes per day. The waste lying in the plant site was polluting the Karamana river as well as drinking water sources in the area.

A resident of the Vilappil panchayat told the court that the solid waste which was filled in the pits and covered with the soil would contaminate the water sources including drinking water sources of nearby residents.

The Bench also dismissed a petition filed by C.L. Anto who claimed to be an expert in the field of solid waste treatment seeking to get impleaded in the case.

Dismissing the petition, the court said that they were only concerned with the security of the officials of the Corporation to run the unit. The Bench was not for a new project. The so-called expertise of the petitioner need not be considered in the issue.

  • Local body officials to be present during inspection

  • PCB had submitted a report on the issue a year ago