Kerala Government will roll out an action plan for effective implementation of a waste disposal mechanism across the State on a war footing, the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

In a statement made before the State Assembly on Wednesday after the fire at Brahmapuram waste disposal plant in Kochi, the Chief Minister said the government will take the lead role for a comprehensive action plan for waste disposal with the support of local bodies and peoples’ participation in a time bound manner. Scientific management schemes for solid and liquid waste, construction waste and biomedical waste etc will be introduced.  

World Bank support

Taking into account the recent fire at the Brahmapuram waste disposal plant, the Chief Minister said the Government will seek international expertise in solid waste management for which the World Bank has agreed to support. A discussion will be held with World Bank representatives on March 21 to 23 in this regard.

The Chief Minister’s statement in the Assembly comes in the wake of the fire at the Brahmapuram Waste Disposal plant in Kochi after the 13th day of the incident. He said the fire was fully contained on March 13 through the joint efforts by different agencies, including Fire and Rescue team from different government agencies.

The rules and regulations regarding waste management will be strictly implemented and the violators sternly dealt with. The Chief Minister also warned those who are protesting against setting up of solid waste management plants in other parts, saying that the State can no longer afford such protests.

Garbage-free campaign

A garbage-free campaign will be implemented in two phases commencing May 31 and conclude on December 31. Handling of waste at source, door-step collection of non-biodegradable waste, making the service of Haritha Karma Sena will be implemented. The technology for processing domestic bio-degradable waste at source will be made available through local bodies.

Referring to the recent fire at Brahmapuram plant, he said a criminal case has been registered and a special investigation team of Kerala Police will probe the matter. Besides, a Vigilance enquiry has also been ordered on the awarding of the contract of waste disposal at the plant right from the start of its operations.

As many as 1,335 persons received medical assistance because of respiratory problem due to emanating smoke in the city.

He attributed the reason for the fire to heap of non-segregated waste as high as six metres. This had posed a hurdle for firefighting tenders to reach the spot in the first phase. The government had also considered several suggestions from various quarters such as artificial rains, usage of carbon dioxide etc, but experts are against such methods.  

The Brahmapuram crisis shall be converted into an opportunity to make Kerala a clean State, he added.