No let-up in illegal waste dumping in Ernakulam

Unauthorised dumping of waste in Willingdon Island in Kochi. The responsibility of waste segregation and its transportation to treatment facilities lies with local bodies.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Illegal waste dumping spaces seem to be on the rise in Kochi and its outskirts, as unauthorised persons and firms store and dispose of waste in violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, according to official findings.

The lack of concerted action on the part of enforcement agencies and local bodies was evident in the latest episode of such illegal dumping at Kalamassery. An inquiry by the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) found that a few people who had taken a private land at Kalamassery on lease for storing non-biodegradable waste had dumped it there without obtaining permission from the Kalamassery Municipality. The civic body initiated action only after complaints were lodged against the illegal dump in the one-acre plot near Seaport-Airport Road.

Those who had taken the land on lease agreed to shift the waste, while claiming that it would be collected by a firm engaged in plastic manufacturing. However, they failed to produce relevant documents to prove that the firm was authorised to collect and transport waste as per the Solid Waste Management Rules. It was later found that the waste was illegally dumped at a site near Willingdon Island during night hours, according to PCB officials.

Meanwhile, the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Solid Waste Management is learnt to have recommended action against the municipality and those who stored waste in the land. The committee also pointed out that the number of illegal dumps had gone up in Ernakulam district.

The responsibility of waste segregation and its transportation to treatment facilities lies with local bodies as per rules. Civic bodies have to hold consultations with the PCB before engaging any person for removing waste and transporting it to safe destinations. The National Green Tribunal had recently pulled up the Thrissur Corporation for not complying with rules after it was found that the contractor employed by it to process non-recyclable waste dumped it in a land near Anamalai in Tamil Nadu.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 1:28:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/no-let-up-in-illegal-waste-dumping-in-ernakulam/article36633268.ece

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