Though fire is under control, fumes coming out from the burned garbage is choking the area.

Fire breaks out again at Brahmapuram waste plant in Kochi smoke chokes
news Fire Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 19:23

Exactly a year after the massive fire outbreak at Kochi’s Brahmapuram waste plant, once again a fire broke out in the plant on Tuesday. The fire which started by afternoon on Tuesday, was brought under control by officials of Fire and Rescue department within a few hours.

According to the officials, the fire this time around was not a massive one like last year. But about 10 fire tenders were brought from different fire and rescue offices in the region to put the fire under control. Fire fighting units from Cochin Shipyard will also be deployed in the area.

Brahmapuram waste plant, located at the Vadavucode-Puthencruz gram panchayat in the outskirts of Kochi city, houses all the degradable and non-biodegradable waste generated by the city's residents. With the waste treatment plant not functioning anymore, the garbage has been piling up in the place for many years. The dried garbage has constantly posed a fire threat and especially during summer.

Though fire was brought under control, fumes coming out from the burned garbage has choked the area. Ernakulam district administration in a statement said that fire and rescue officials will continue to curb the situation by watering the area throughout the night. “Water is being pumped from Kadambrayar (water body adjacent to the waste plant), lights have been arranged for fire and rescue officials to continue watering the area throughout the night,” the statement read.

It was also stated that officials of Kerala State Pollution Control Board are monitoring air quality in the region following the outbreak.

After the major fire outbreak in February 2019, the garbage was on fire for many weeks. After the intervention of a state level panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal, Kochi Corporation which operates the plant, took measures to separate the massive piles of waste into small heaps to avoid major fires in future.

“As per their direction, we had been watering the garbage piles daily to avoid fires. But now, days are getting hotter and just within hours, watered garbage turns dry again. We are yet to find out how this present fire occurred,” Prathiba Ansari, Health Standing Committee chairperson of Kochi Corporation, told TNM.

With summer yet to reach its peak in the state, if strict measures are not imposed, the plant is likely to witness recurrent fire outbreaks just like last year.

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