Following the recurrent fire outbreaks, the Corporation will install CCTV cameras and water pumps at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant.

Waste collection resumes but its going to be a mammoth task to clean Kochi city
news Waste Management Sunday, March 03, 2019 - 17:17

After about a week, the Kochi Corporation has resumed the collection of garbage in the city. While the collection of biodegradable waste started on Saturday, non-biodegradable waste collection commenced on Sunday. However, suspending the waste collection for a week, in the wake of the recurrent fire outbreaks at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant, has backlashed - heaps of garbage have piled up at public places across the city.

The Brahmapuram plant is the only spot where tonnes of garbage produced by the city is dumped every day. On February 27, the city corporation officially halted the waste movement until a mechanism to prevent and tackle fire outbreaks in the plant was put in place. As a result, piles of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste were dumped across Kochi in a matter of days.

“We are aiming to clear garbage piled up across the city on a war footing,” Prathiba Ansari, chairperson of the Health Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation, told TNM. “As the first step, on Saturday, we started segregating garbage piled up on roadsides. The Corporation has even asked the staff to work on Sunday so that the garbage at these public spaces can be cleared soon,” he added.

Realising the need to urgently segregate biodegradable and non-degradable garbage, the Corporation has given directions to the workers to mandatorily collect both types of waste separately.

“The waste piles at Brahmapuram plant earlier were not perfectly segregated. That might be one of the reasons why the fire spread so rapidly to a large area,” Prathiba pointed out.

Currently, the residents are required to mandatorily segregate the waste and hand it over to the waste collectors.

Meanwhile, the residents' welfare associations in the city have expressed concerns about health issues due to the waste accumulated in public places. “We understand that it would take at least a few more days for the waste movement to return to normalcy. But the Corporation, in the meantime, should ensure no diseases spread as a result of this accumulation,” Renkadasa Prabhu, a representative of the Ernakulam District Residents Association Apex Council (EDRAAC), told TNM.

The members of EDRAAC also said that no workers have been deployed to clear the garbage on Sunday.

New provisions at Brahmapuram plant

Several residents and officials, including city Mayor Soumini Jain, raised concerns over the constant fire outbreaks at the Brahmapuram plant, with some even hinting miscreants setting off the fire. As a result, nine new security personnel have been appointed at the plant now.

Following a meeting convened by Corporation officials and District Collector on Friday, it has also been decided that 10 CCTV cameras will be installed at various points in Brahmapuram plant by March 5.

To prevent the shortage of water during incidents of fire outbreak, three motors will be fixed at the plant to pump water from the nearby river.

The Corporation officials have also started conducting awareness campaigns to reduce the use of plastic in various shops in the city.