Fire spread deep to 6 metres; govt hopeful of waste-to-energy plant: Pinarayi tells Assembly

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Pinarayi Vijayan | Photo: PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan congratulated the fire fighters and others involved in extinguishing the massive fire that broke out at Brahmapuram, one of the biggest waste dumping yards in Kerala. He was making a statement in the Assembly on Wednesday.

“Multiple agencies were involved in the action. Fire and rescue service, Indian Navy, Air Force, BPCL, CIAL, Cochin Port Trust, FACT and civil defence volunteers cooperated with Kochi Corporation and police. 32 fire units, 250 fire and rescue staffers, many earth movers, 2,000 firefighters, and 500 civil defence volunteers were engaged,” he said.

He elaborated on the actions taken to douse the fire and justified that they were vetted by experts. “New York City fire department deputy chief George Healy said the methods were perfect,” he informed the Assembly. Though some people’s representatives recommended artificial rain and supplying carbon dioxide, experts said they were insufficient.

The fire penetrated as deep as 6 metres of the waste dump, the CM said.

He also elaborated on the history of the plant. There have been four fire incidents at the Brahmapuram plant. In 2008, a bio-waste treatment plant was installed. No plastic was allowed in the plant. In 2009, Kochi was awarded as the best zero waste city. After 2010, the decentralised waste treatment ended suddenly. They started to mix bio waste with plastic. The plant was also opened for nearby local bodies as well, CM said.

As a result, in 10 years, 5,590,00 tonne of waste accumulated in Brahmapuram. The Green Tribunal ordered to clear the waste. But the Corporation did not act. Hence, the state intervened and started a plan for biomining. A Rs 54.9 cr agreement was entered upon for biomining. As of now, 30 per cent has been completed. The company was paid Rs 11.9 crore so far.

The government has also planned a multi-crore waste-to-energy plant in Brahmapuram. Though the agreement is not final yet, we are confident that the plant will come up in two years, Pinarayi said.

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