Dumping of piling waste collected from the construction sites of the Kochi Metro is turning out to be a headache with the contractors of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) finding it difficult to get an appropriate spot to dispose of the waste.
On an average, 50 truck loads of red earth, clay and black soil are extracted during the piling works along various stretches where the metro work is progressing. Soma Constructions, the company which has taken up the work from Kaloor to South, is yet to find proper land for disposing of the waste. “Currently, as per an agreement with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT), we are transporting the red earth and clay to their land at Puthuvype. However, the agreement is valid only for another ten more days, after which we will be forced to run helter-skelter for another plot of land,” a sub contractor with Soma Constructions said.
Though they approached several agencies like the GCDA seeking an area where they can transport the earth within the city itself, there has been no positive response, they alleged. Over a month ago, the contractors had dumped the waste at the Maharajas College ground based on an agreement, reportedly made between the college authorities and the sub contractors.
The agreement, a copy which is available with City Express, states that the deep and uneven portion of the college ground would be filled and leveled free of cost, using the excavated red sand. However, when the college authorities stated that only muck and not red earth was being brought to the ground and dumped carelessly at the ground, the contractors were forced to leave the place. Thereafter, the college authorities backtracked and stated that an agreement was never reached between the sub-contractors for the same. In the meanwhile, the sub-contractors said that the residents of the Puthuvype area have been creating difficulties for the contract workers and hindering them from dumping the earth at the CPT land.
“Ever since we started levelling the site here, we have been receiving threats. There have also been incidents of stone pelting against the workers. We are currently working in the area under police protection. Even though we received permission from the CPT as well as the panchayat in this regard, the protests from the locals continue,” the subcontractors alleged. Njarackal police officials confirmed that the subcontractors had sought their protection. “However, things have cooled down now compared to a few days ago when we had to warn the locals to refrain from hindering the work, or they will be liable to face police action,” a police official said.
The contractors are now desperately looking for an area inside the city where waste can be dumped, without creating issues. “We are on the lookout for a place which has been written off as waste land or unproductive paddy lands, where levelling of earth can be done. We will do the work for free. If the area is inside or close to the city, our work would be made much easier. When we had transported the soil to tthe Maharajas College ground, the entire process became faster. But now, since several loads of earth have to be transported outside the city, the work has considerably slowed down,” they said. However, DMRC officials said that they would not intervene in the matter. “It is upto the contractor to find space for the purpose. There are no issues where L&T have taken the contract. Soma Constructions should also find their own land,” he said.