Councillors demand probe into recurring fires at Brahmapuram

Fire and Rescue Services personnel dousing flames at the Brahmapuram solid waste treatment plant on February 18.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel dousing flames at the Brahmapuram solid waste treatment plant on February 18.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Mayor announces special meeting to discuss proposals on the dumping yard

Councillors at the Kochi Corporation on Saturday raised a hue and cry over the recent fire at the Brahmapuram dumping yard and demanded a special council meeting to take important decisions, that the council had delayed for months, regarding the site.

With six instances of fires breaking out at the site in 2019 and one recently this year, both ruling and Opposition councillors called for an inquiry into the incidents.

Mayor Soumini Jain announced that a special council meeting would be held by the end of the month to discuss all Brahmapuram-related proposals.


However, the council has not arrived at an agreement over biomining of legacy waste at the site or the setting up of a biomedical waste treatment facility. Councillors opposed the District Collector’s order in January to hand over three acres to Indian Medical Association Goes Eco-Friendly (IMAGE) to set up a biomedical waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram.

“The land belongs to the corporation, but there was no discussion with the council or the people in the area before it was handed over. The people in the area will have to be taken into confidence before any such plant can come up,” Leader of the Opposition K.J. Antony said.

“The corporation’s veterinary hospital lies on part of the land demarcated for the plant. We cannot permit the hospital to be demolished,” said Gracy Joseph, development standing committee chairperson.

Deputy Mayor K.R. Premakumar said the decision to hand over the land was a high-handed one taken by the State government and executed by the district administration. He called for a discussion on the matter.

The council had earlier set aside a proposal to allot legacy waste biomining to the only company that had responded to the tender. “The company had quoted ₹597 per metre cube of waste. Dealing with the over 2 lakh metre cube of waste at the site will require over ₹15 crore. But the proposal has not been submitted to the health or finance standing committees for approval,” councillor C.K. Peter said at the council meeting.

“A liability of ₹15 crore cannot be taken up without the approval of the standing committees,” said Congress councillor A.B. Sabu. Water is regularly being sprinkled over waste to minimise the effect of heat.

CCTV cameras have been installed as per government orders last year, and work on a leachate tank is ongoing, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 12:41:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/councillors-demand-probe-into-recurring-fires-at-brahmapuram/article30892370.ece

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