THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The High Court order favouring the City Corporation presents a Catch-22 situation for the State Government.
On the one side is the deepening garbage crisis in the city and a High Court directive asking it to set things on the right track by opening the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant. And on the other side is a village and its people who are adamant that no garbage truck would enter their land.
The Government has been forced to shed its mute stand and take a position, finally.
The High Court verdict has supplied the City Corporation with enough confidence to bring its solid waste management back on track again. Mayor K Chandrika told this paper that the verdict to open the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant has come as a breather, with the city choking with garbage - uncollected and untreated - for the last 33 days. However, Chandrika said that it was up to the State Government to take the next step.
‘’From what I know, the High Court has asked the State Government to facilitate solid waste management in the city by providing protection. We hope the Government takes immediate steps to resolve the crisis now that the Court has issued a directive,’’ she said.
However, the Corporation officials are aware of the public protest in Vilappil and know that the adamant stand of the panchayat would not make matters easy.
‘’We are firm on our stand that no garbage would enter this village from the city. The Government can decide whether it will favour the people or the plant. If the Corporation cannot find means to dispose of the garbage produced in the city, that is its failure. Dumping it upon us is an act of arrogance,’’ said Burhan, Janakeeya Samithi leader.
The panchayat officials appeared cautious over the verdict. ‘’We respect the Court order. We will discuss the verdict in detail and will consider our future steps,’’ said Vilappil panchayat president Shobhanakumari.
Sources in the panchayat, however, indicate that the panchayat does not intend to make things smooth for the Corporation. It has been decided in principle to stand by the locals and support their demands without giving the impression of defying the Court order, it is learnt.
All eyes are on the State Government now.