THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The accredited agency Costford (Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development), which was asked by the City Corporation to work on a quarry landfill project at Vellar, near Kovalam here, has backed out. It has informed its unwillingness to be part of the project, which is facing stiff resistance from the locals, who have seemingly copied the Vilappilsala model and pledged their lives against any such move.
Though no written agreement was arrived at by the Corporation and Costford, the latter had agreed to look into the project since it has expertise in the technicalities of landfilling. The agency had carried out the landfill at Vilappilsala waste treatment plant during the time of the previous Council, making it a first-of-its-kind attempt in Kerala. However, sources said that it was the pressure from the Corporation which, in turn, was pressurised by the Suchitwa Mission, that made the agency undertake the project.
‘’We were told that it was an abandoned quarry, but we found it to be a water-filled pond used by locals for their drinking and other needs. There is mounting protest against the project; we cannot possibly carry out any landfilling there. We have expressed our unwillingness to take up the task,’’ said P B Sajan, Joint Director of Costford.
Meanwhile, the Kovalam Samudra Vattapara Samrakshana Samithi, which is heading the protest in Vellar, submitted a memorandum to the Urban Affairs Minister and Mayor on Tuesday demanding a full-stop to any idea of landfilling the quarry and using it as a dumping yard. Nedumom Mohanan, Chairman of the Samithi, said the Minister has been apprised of the present circumstances at Vellar, which is also adjacent to a tourist destination. ‘’The Minister said that the garbage has to be dumped somewhere, but we said a quarry, that too a water-filled one and which is next to a tourist place, should not be considered for it. He has seemingly understood the gravity of the issue; and we hope they drop the idea,’’ said Mohanan.
However, the Samithi leaders accused the Mayor of playing politics over the issue. The CPM-led Corporation is shifting the whole onus of finding a solution to the shoulders of the UDF Government, Nedumom Mohanan, a UDF councillor, said.
Mobile Incinerators: Bids Opened
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The financial bids for selecting the company to distribute mobile incinerators for waste treatment in the city were opened on Tuesday.
PCB Chairman P K Sajeevan, who is also the Chairman of the Technical Committee constituted to vet the technical feasibility of the procurement of two incinerators, said a final decision has not been arrived at. ‘’There are more calculations to be done to choose the company,’’ he said.
Four companies, including two European ones, were shortlisted for the financial bidding after they cleared the technical evaluation.
Epidemics: Corp Writes to Home Minister
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The City Corporation sent a letter to Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan on Tuesday updating him on the looming outbreak of epidemics in the city owing to the garbage crisis. ‘’We sent a letter through a messenger; we are done with going behind Ministers, which we have been doing for the last two months,’’ said Mayor K Chandrika. The Mayor said that the Corporation also plans to move the High Court citing contempt of court by the DGP for not acting upon the interim order passed by the Court, which had directed the police to give protection for transportation of equipment to the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant. ‘’We had given a letter to the DGP on February 18. But no action was taken probably because the Vilappil panchayat moved the Supreme Court. Now that the apex court has passed a verdict in favour of the Corporation, we will give a breather and after one week, will move the High Court for contempt of court by the Police,’’ the Mayor said.