Kochi

LSGD to handle legacy waste at Brahmapuram

Daily collection and management of waste to rest with corporation

The State government will take over the handling of legacy waste at the Brahmapuram dumping yard, after the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) recently found that the Kochi Corporation had delayed the process, and the situation could lead to an environmental and health hazard for the city.

The daily collection and management of waste and operations at Brahmapuram will continue to rest with the corporation, said Venu V., Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management. He issued a Government Order (GO) on Thursday, entrusting the Local Self Government Department (LSGD) with the responsibility of handling the legacy waste and cancelling the tender process that the corporation had initiated for biomining.

Invoking the Disaster Management Act, the decision was taken by the State Executive Committee of the KSDMA, chaired by the Chief Secretary, at its meeting on Wednesday.

“The committee was informed of the impending disaster situation owing to smouldering fires in the legacy waste at the yard. We had several reports which showed that it could flare up again and lead to a huge public health disaster. Urgent steps have to be taken,” Dr. Venu said.

The committee had, at an earlier meeting this week, urgently called for the corporation’s records on the tendering process for legacy waste biomining, and tasked the District Collector with preparing a contingency plan to manage the smouldering fires at the yard. The corporation council meeting the next day to discuss issues at Brahmapuram also failed to arrive at a decision on the tender, and the committee concluded that the civic body was “not in a position to manage this complex matter effectively,” according to the GO.

As per the order, the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) will initiate the bidding process to identify an agency to handle legacy waste, and the District Collector will offer assistance in the process. R.S. Kannan, Special Secretary, LSGD, said the department would ensure that a time-bound action plan was prepared to implement the GO.

The order noted that the reports of the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Solid Waste Management, the State Pollution Control Board, and the District Collector all indicated that urgent steps were necessary to manage legacy waste.

The matter of accepting financial bid for biomining was opposed by ruling and Opposition councillors at the corporation council meetings over the past two months on the grounds that the rate quoted by the company was too high, the company had little prior experience, the tender process was unfair, and that the matter had not been considered by the standing committees.

The GO also said that the single bidder had experience as a sub-contractor only and “that his experience does not inspire the confidence that he will be able to complete the work.”

Mayor Soumini Jain said the corporation would have to heed the order, and that repeated opposition from the council had stalled the proposals.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 2:07:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/lsgd-to-handle-legacy-waste-at-brahmapuram/article31005091.ece

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