The delay on the part of the City Corporation in signing the supply agreement and the mounting opposition of the local residents has put a question mark on the 35-tonne solid waste treatment facility at Chala, Minister for Urban Affairs, Manjalamkuzhi Ali has said.
Replying to questions in the Assembly on Friday, the Minister said the U.S.-based Loro Group is sceptical whether the Rs. 65 crore plant will take off in view of the mounting opposition and the hurdles that had been thrown up after the inking of the formal agreement with the company to generate 3.2 MW of power daily.
Stating that the local residents in Chala want only 10 tonnes of garbage to be processed at the proposed plant, Mr. Ali said the take-off of the plant is doubtful.
“We are in touch with the company. The City Corporation was to sign the supply agreement in November and it has failed to do so till date,” he added.
The Urban Affairs Minister said garbage disposal was a big issue in the State and the attempts made by the government to solve it had not met with success due to opposition from people.
“People are not allowing the setting up of garbage plants in their localities. The people’s representatives are in the forefront of the agitations being launched against the plants,” he told the House.
The Minister said the move to use abandoned quarries in the capital for depositing garbage and to construct platforms using garbage on the lines of the successful implementation in Kochuveli and Murukkumpuzha had also come in for opposition.
The Vilapilsala garbage treatment plant was not closed down by the government as alleged by many. It was the stir by the people of the locality that resulted in the closure of the plant.
The Corporation and the government cannot alone solve the problem and the people’s support is needed for solving the crisis that had cropped up across the State, Mr. Ali said while seeking the support of the legislators for overcoming the hurdles.
The Urban Affairs Minister said under the Constitution amendment 73 and 74, waste disposal had to be tackled by the local bodies and it was their responsibility.
“We can provide the financial assistance and technical help and we are doing it. A sum of Rs. 2,219.67 crore was given in 2011-12 and and Rs. 630 lakh so far in 2012-13 for the Corporations in the State to tackle the garbage crisis,” he said.