Recurring fires: PCB serves notice on municipality

Firefighters dousing flames at the Kalamassery municipality's dump yard in North Kalamassery.

Firefighters dousing flames at the Kalamassery municipality's dump yard in North Kalamassery.  

Dumping yard at N. Kalamassery witnesses yet another fire breakout on Thursday

The State Pollution Control Board (PCB) has served notice on the Kalamassery Municipality, asking why environment compensation should not be levied on it for violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules - 2016, resulting in frequent fires at its dumping yard in North Kalamassery.

The move comes close on the heels of the fire that broke out at the site on March 30. Firefighters from the Eloor station of the Department of Fire and Rescue Services doused the flames. Yet another fire breakout was reported from the dumping yard on Thursday. The local body has to file its reply to the PCB within 15 days. The latest incident was the third in two months after the previous fire breakout on February 17.

In its notice dated March 30, the PCB pointed out that waste dumping was being carried out at the yard in an unscientific manner. Also, the municipality has not taken any primary control measures to prevent fire.

The latest incidents have resulted in serious air pollution owing to hazardous smoke emanating from plastic and other waste at the yard. Though instructions were given to the municipality on proper storage and disposal of plastic waste, the latter had disregarded them, causing fire breakouts and subsequent air pollution, the notice said.

The PCB observed that it was a serious lapse on the part of the municipality that it had not complied with the Solid Waste Management Rules - 2016.

The Fire and Rescue Services Department had communicated to the Deputy Collector in charge of disaster management and the Municipal Secretary, stating that immediate steps should be taken to prevent recurrent fires at the site. Fire Department officials said there was no mechanism at the dumping yard for controlling fires. Moreover, legacy waste piled up in large quantities has been a deterrent to effective firefighting, they added.

The recurring fire incidents have been preventing fire force personnel from joining disinfection and voluntary work following the spread of COVID-19.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 4:37:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/recurring-fires-pcb-serves-notice-on-municipality/article31252999.ece

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