Kochi

Maradu: Focus on debris amid call to green locations post-demolition

Debris generated by the demolition of Golden Kayaloram apartment at Maradu.

Debris generated by the demolition of Golden Kayaloram apartment at Maradu.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

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Maradu Municipality to work out schedule for removal of debris by contracting agencies

While removing debris accumulated from the demolition of the four residential apartments in Maradu municipality over Saturday and Sunday has become a priority for the local body, environmentalists have given a firm call for greening the zone left vacant by the demolition.

Municipal Chairperson T.H. Nadeera said that after the last of the apartments was brought down on Sunday, the municipal authority would now work out a time schedule for removal of debris by contracting agencies. There is a roughly agreed upon target of between 45 and 70 days to get the grounds totally cleared even as the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) is set to issue a mandate on the methods to be adopted for safe removal and transport of debris from the demolition sites.

PCB Chairman Ajit Haridas said the Construction and Demolition Rules 2016 would be followed for debris removal and processing. Though the municipal authority is expected to establish the facility for processing demolition waste, it has not happened anywhere in the State so far.

The rubble processor will now be sourced by the company contracting the work, and it will arrive here next week. The equipment will be used to pulverise the remains and recycle them. Achyut Joseph, speaking for Prompt Enterprises, which has contracted the debris removal work, said the speed at which debris would be removed and recycled would depend on the time schedule provided by the municipal authority.

Debris will be transported in covered vehicles to yards identified at Chandiroor and near Kumbalam in accordance with PCB guidelines. Steel from debris will be removed on-site, and the rest, concrete and aggregates, will be recycled to manufacture usable products like paving tiles.

It is estimated that the apartment complexes have yielded around 4,250 truckloads of debris, each truckload weighing 10 to 12 tonnes.

In the meantime, there is a firm call for greening the sites where the apartment complexes stood. Former State Biodiversity Board Chairman V.S. Vijayan said the local body, in this case the Maradu Municipality, should be entrusted with the task of greening the land left vacant by the demolition. He added that it should be taken seriously and not abandoned. He suggested planting of fruit trees, the seeds of which could be disbursed by birds, for greening the areas.

However, Dr. Vijayan questioned the logic of demolishing the buildings which could have been put to public use. He said that evacuating the occupants resulted in evacuees constructing new houses for themselves. This will involve exploiting the Western Ghats once again for aggregates and building materials.

Activist Charles George, at the front of a charge to ensure that waterbodies are protected from the aggressive real estate lobby, felt that the land left vacant by the demolition should be taken over by the government and turned into green patches for future generations. He said that they could be mangrove forests and green areas.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 2:30:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/focus-on-debris-amid-call-to-green-locations-post-demolition/article30552969.ece

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