CPM dismisses Javadekar's allegations on Brahmapuram fire as politically motivated

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Brahmapuram waste plant | Photo: Aji VK/ Mathrubhumi

Kochi: The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala on Thursday categorically rejected allegations of corruption levelled by BJP leader Prakash Javadekar over the Brahmapuram waste plant fire incident as factually incorrect statements made for political gains.

In a press meet in Delhi on Wednesday, Javadekar claimed corruption involving kin of Left and Congress functionaries in Kerala led to the absence of a waste-management plan and a consequent fire at the landfill in Kochi.

The former Union environment minister also said the solid waste management rules were notified by the Centre in 2016 but the Kerala government never followed them, leading to a complete "mismanagement" of waste all over the state.

Responding to the allegations, the CPM state secretariat issued a statement saying the tender awarded to segregate waste at Brahmapuram was through a transparent process and the state government of Kerala does not have anything to hide.

"His (Javadekar's) allegations that Kerala does not follow the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and the Swachh Bharat initiative are blatant lies. In fact, he can find out the truth by enquiring with various central ministries," it said.

The Kerala government has been properly implementing the rules, the Left party said.

"The statements made by BJP leader Prakash Javadekar are factually incorrect... Instead of standing together and resolving such social issues, the BJP is trying to politically exploit the situation," the CPM said.

Javadekar further claimed that the firm chosen for waste management in Kochi received a Rs 54 crore contract and it in turn subcontracted the task to other firms for over Rs 22 crore. "Rs 32 crore went straight into its pocket," the BJP leader alleged.

The CPM said the work, including waste segregation, at the Brahmapuram plant was given to the company which quoted the lowest rate after issuing a global tender. "The corporation has not issued any sub-contract as claimed by the BJP leader," it said.

The party also pointed out that the issue at Brahmapuram has been there since 2012 as noted by the National Green Tribunal and is not something that has come up in the last two years.

"Mounting waste is a social issue and both the Centre and the state governments have the responsibility to resolve the matter," the statement said.

The Brahmapuram waste plant caught fire on March 2 and authorities were able to extinguish it only on March 12. The toxic smoke due to the fire blanketed the port-city of Kochi during that time.


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