news Monday, June 01, 2015 - 05:30
A two-minute video showing four workers, three clad in uniform, handling sacks of “garbage or scrap” from an apartment building in Kochi was uploaded on Facebook on May 30. The scene which unfolds is quite shocking. Two men from the group lift a sack, walk straight ahead and simply hurl the sack into the backwaters. The video uploaded by Kerala resident Thomas Paulose Nechupadam shows four workers, including two women, dump six sacks into the backwaters. The workers even make sure the last one is dumped slightly away from the previous spot. "Is this how a flat should dispose waste? A scene from DD Samudradarshan flat in Kochi," a post on Nechupadam’s page reads. (The Facebook video has got almost 1,50,000 views) The News Minute decided to investigate. Video of NLFgQrDdSts The apartment in the video is undoubtedly the DD Samudra Darshan apartment, a Desai Homes project, at Marine Drive in Cochin. “Set in the premises of waterfront, the project offers spectacular view of pristine waterfront from every corner,” reads the project description in the builder’s home page. The view is spectacular, alright. But from the looks of it, the water body in front of the building is being used for other purposes too. The apartment has two entrances, one of which is over looking Marine Drive. The first three floors of the thirteen-storey building are used as a commercial space and are occupied by DD Oceano Mall.  The security personnel at the apartment identified the lady workers in the video as workers of Oceano Mall. According to one security guard, the construction of the mall has been going on for the past two years. A security guard from an adjacent building said that the sacks contain construction waste and non-decomposable waste. The builder seems to have resorted to such “convenient” method of disposing garbage, as the Cochin Municipal Corporation does not collect construction waste. Nechupadam who lives in “Link Horizon” apartment, which is next to Samudra Darshan, says he shot the video around 9 in the morning. "I saw these people gathered near the sacks and took a video as I realised they were dumping the sacks into the water." The shopkeeper of the only functioning store at the mall said that he was not aware of the waste disposal. A resident of the apartment, who wishes to remain anonymous, also said that he has never seen such a practice. The apartment was built 5 years ago. Desai Homes has said interior work is going on at the mall and the scrap could be from the work. However, the builder refused to take any responsibility for the disposal of garbage from the building into the water body. However, a security guard at a nearby ATM has a different story to tell. “The construction of the mall has been going on for a while. I have seen the workers dumping construction waste into the water a couple of times earlier as well,” he says. He further said that even though it usually takes place early in the morning, afternoons are also a convenient time to dump waste in the backwaters as Marine Drive is less crowded at the time.                                                        Photographs by Haritha John  Also read: Gloves are off in the Times of India-Hindustan Times advertising battle