Waste management a key poll plank in district

A long way to go: Garbage dumped near the tourist boat jetty at Marine Drive. The waste spreads stench along the walkway.

A long way to go: Garbage dumped near the tourist boat jetty at Marine Drive. The waste spreads stench along the walkway.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

Modern garbage plant, Central support among promises made by parties

A solution to the vexed problem of solid waste management is among the priorities listed by prominent political parties in their campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Ernakulam.

With citizens and people’s organisations stepping up their demand for a scientific solution, the United Democratic Front (UDF), Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have included it among their key election promises.

“The Kochi Corporation’s Brahmapuram plant should be modernised to find a permanent solution to the shortcomings in not only Kochi but the entire Ernakulam district’s waste management system. We will ensure Central support to the efforts being made by the State government and the corporation for the expansion of the plant,” said V.D. Satheesan, MLA, in-charge of the UDF’s election work in Ernakulam.

Maintaining that concerns of residents in and around Brahmapuram need to be addressed, Mr. Satheesan said waste transportation should be done only in covered vehicles. “There should be no odour emanating from the plant. Otherwise it will make life miserable for residents,” he added.

Mr. Satheesan said the UDF was in favour of the waste-to-energy plant at Brahmapuram. “It will be able to address the garbage woes of not only areas under the Kochi Corporation, but those from other municipalities too. A zero-waste model based on hygienic standards is the need of the hour for Ernakulam,” he added.

‘No proper mechanism’

Holding that the LDF had always encouraged source-level treatment of solid waste, C.N. Mohanan, Ernakulam district secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], said a modern plant was required to tackle garbage menace in Kochi and its suburbs. “Kochi also lacks a proper mechanism to resolve its plastic menace,” he said.

M. Anilkumar, CPI(M) district committee member, said the decentralised waste management model had been successfully demonstrated by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac in Alappuzha. “The waste-to-energy plant alone would not offer a sustainable solution. Making green protocol popular among the public and evolving a culture of reduce, reuse, and recycle will help address the issue,” he said.

He blamed the Congress-led ruling council for the worsening waste management scenario.

Accusing both the LDF and the UDF of having failed to provide a proper solution to the garbage issue, N.K. Mohandas, BJP Ernakulam district president, said a major project aided by the Centre was required to resolve the problem of mounting garbage heaps in Kochi. “We are for a modern and scientific waste disposal plant for solid waste management. It should be environment-friendly,” he said. Mr. Mohandas added that the BJP would also pitch for a major project for restoring canals. “The MPs who represented Ernakulam had failed to even have a vision for effective waste management and revival of canals in the region,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:37:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/waste-management-a-key-poll-plank-in-district/article26764621.ece

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