THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The City Corporation has never faced such a crisis. That too during the Attukal Pongala festival. With this year’s festival seeing a record influx of devotees, the officials are reeling under the shortage of dumping space. But it is the closure of the plant at Vilappilsala that has hurt them most.
With the deadlock over the movement of waste to Vilappilsala continuing, the Corporation officials had a hard time tackling the litter, the leftover of the Pongala, where record number of women assemble for a single occasion.
Mayor K Chandrika reflected all the pain when she remarked: ”We have a precarious situation here. But we would tide over all the difficulties. We had to bend our backs to clean the public places which were littered by the devotees. The ceremony had an attendance of more than 2,000 women from Vilappilsala area too, who left the litter in the city itself.’’
The cleaning process started at 2.30 pm, just after the Pongala was offered.
‘’This time, we arranged a staff of almost 2,600, 900 belonging to the Corporation and the rest drawn from various voluntary organisations and Kudumbashree for a day, exclusively for the cleaning purpose. Various dumping spots have been arranged in the city to dispose of the litter,“ she said.
However, after a pause, she divulged such two makeshift spots where the waste was disposed: One was Chalai and other near the Attukal temple premises.
With the number of devotees thronging the city for Pongala breaking all former records, the litter generated was equally enormous. ”Litter is aplenty. Fortunately, use of plastic cups and water bottles was minimal. We had asked the organisations that distribute free food to the devotees to keep plastic at bay. This reduced the burden on us. Anyway, we will finish the job by midnight,” she said.
The Corporation officials also kept mum on where the waste was disposed. This was done to prevent public backlash.