KOCHI: The Corporation on Tuesday dropped its much-touted plan to launch separate mechanism for transporting plastic and food waste from West Kochi and central zone in the city following stiff protests from the Opposition councillors.
Two months ago, the civic body had inked separate pacts with two different contractors for transporting plastic and biodegradable waste from the city to the waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram.
However, in a special council meeting on Tuesday, the Opposition councillors alleged the Health Department failed miserably in implementing the plan, resulting in heaping up of waste materials in many parts of the city. The meeting was convened to mainly discuss the waterlogging and the waste menace issues.
Admitting the new waste transportation plan was a total failure, Mayor Soumini Jain said: “The procedures to cancel the agreement with the two contractors will be initiated and a final decision in this regard will be taken within a couple of days. A legal opinion also needs to be sought on the matter. Till then, the Corporation will collect waste directly from the residents,” she said.
Earlier in the meeting, the Opposition came down heavily against the Mayor for failing to initiate steps to tackle flooding and waste menace in the city. Registering their protest, the Opposition councillors sat on the floor of the council hall throughout the session. However, the Mayor said the non-cooperation of several stakeholders such as KMRL, Railways, PWD and other agencies had resulted in the waterlogging. Not satisfied with her reply, the Opposition staged a walkout from the council meeting.
“Mayor Soumini Jain should resign and hand over the administration to the District Collector with immediate effect. The present council is moving in the wrong direction as the Mayor is totally irresponsible. She lacks the ability to take the right decision at the right time,” said Opposition leader K J Antony. Opposition member V P Chandran alleged crores of rupees were being wasted by the Corporation in the name of cleaning of drains. “During the past five years, the civic body had spent around `120 crore for cleaning the canals. The Mayor doesn’t have the right to continue in the post. She is a burden to the city and should submit the resignation with immediate effect,” Chandran said.
According to the Opposition, a scientific study needs to be undertaken to clean the canals and drains in the city. The contract for cleaning canals should be awarded to an agency for a period of minimum two years.
The Mayor promised the council steps would be taken to mitigate flooding in the city.
She also directed the Works Standing Chairperson to prepare a report on assigning the contract for cleaning to a company on long-term basis.