Rain: garbage heaps raise health concerns

Waste accumulated in different parts of Kannur town

As the monsoon showers have gathered momentum, piles of waste accumulated in different parts of the town have raised serious health concerns. The municipal authorities have demanded the government's intervention to ensure uninterrupted dumping of waste at the municipality's waste dump at Chelora in the face of protests by local residents.

The municipality's waste dumping operation has been disrupted for months following the agitation launched by the residents of Chelora demanding the shifting of the municipality's landfill.

Though the garbage collection and dumping activities of the municipality resumed following a meeting of people's representatives convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the capital in January, it is still to be in full swing as the agitation still continues.

According to municipal authorities, the waste collected from the town is taken to the municipality's plot at South Bazar. Removal of the waste from there and other parts of the town is stalled because of the disruption in the garbage dumping at Chelora.

“At present, municipal waste is taken to Chelora only once or twice a week under police protection,” said T.O. Mohanan, chairman, municipal standing committee (welfare). The accumulated waste would pose serious problems unless the district administration intervened to help the municipality resume daily waste dumping, he added.

Till the onset of monsoon, the garbage accumulated in parts of the town used to be burnt, the municipal authorities said, adding that now the water from such spots had started flowing into roads. The issue would be taken up at a meeting to be held in the presence of District Collector Ratan Kelkar on June 7 to discuss the proposal for capping the waste heap at Chelora.

The Collector's help would be sought to resume regular garbage disposal, the authorities said.

The Chief Minister in his meeting of political party leaders and people's representatives from the district on January 31 last had sought six months' time for finding a lasting solution to the garbage problem. The meeting also promised police protection to the garbage vehicles.

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