Biodegradable waste generated in five municipalities and three panchayats continued to be dumped in the Brahmapuram yard of the Kochi Corporation in violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The erring local bodies include Aluva, Angamaly, Thrikkakkara, Thripunithura and Kalamassery municipalities and Cheranalloor, Kumbalanghi and Vadavucode-Puthencruz panchayats. A report prepared by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) in the first week of September stated that these local bodies were regularly transferring biodegradable waste to the Brahmapuram site.
“It is important to note that such disposal is unfeasible since the facility provided for fresh biodegradable waste management at Brahmapuram is unscientific and the Kochi Corporation does not have a concrete proposal or time-bound action plans for such waste management,” according to the report.
The PCB report pointed out that the Corporation had not provided any satisfactory facility for the management of solid waste generated even from its area and allowed other municipalities and panchayats to dispose of certain portion of the biodegradable fraction of solid waste at Brahmapuram in an unauthorised and unscientific manner.
However, an assessment of the action taken by the board against the civic bodies transporting waste to Brahmapuram showed that it had not yet taken any concrete step to either initiate prosecution measures against the secretaries or recover environment compensation for violation of norms.
The PCB Chairman had issued notices assessing environmental compensation on four municipalities for non-compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules in 2021. The penalty assessed on Kalamassery and Aluva municipalities was ₹2.47 crore and ₹6.63 crore respectively, while the corresponding compensation fixed on Thripunithura municipality was ₹3.78 crore. The board has been repeatedly informing the National Green Tribunal that steps are being taken to recover the compensation, though it is yet to recover it.