Kerala

Move to incinerate plastic at Nilackal raises concern

Plastic waste dumped by the Forest Department at the incinerator yard of theTravancore Devaswom Board at Nilackalon.

Plastic waste dumped by the Forest Department at the incinerator yard of theTravancore Devaswom Board at Nilackalon.  

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Two truckloads of plastic waste dumped

Dumping of plastic waste and pet bottles collected from the Laha-Chalakkayam stretch of the Sabarimala forests at the incinerator yard at Nilackal for burning is posing a serious health threat to wildlife and the pilgrims camping at Nilackal.

The Forest Department dumped two truckloads of plastic waste and empty pet bottles at the incinerator yard on Sunday, ignoring objections raised by experts attached to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB).

TDB sources said Forest personnel shifted the plastic waste to Nilackal for incineration as they failed to find any other means for its disposal. They said the burning of plastic would damage the refractive lining of the incinerator, not to speak of the health risk posed by the carcinogenic fumes.

The plastic waste was collected from the forests along the Laha-Chalakkayam stretch of the road as part of an anti-plastic campaign launched by the district administration since the start of the annual pilgrim season.

The authorities should explore the possibility of disposing of the waste using plastic shredders available in the district, instead of shifting it to the incinerator yard, the sources said.

Threat to elephants

The sources said it was common to see herds of wild elephants straying to the incinerator yard since the start of the season.

The elephants strayed into the base camp to feed on the ash and flowers and leafy decorations left by the pilgrims. Consumption of plastic along with sugary food such as juice and soft drinks could prove dangerous to the pachyderms and other animals, they said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:07:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/move-to-incinerate-plastic-at-nilackal-raises-concern/article6692729.ece

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