Kochi corporation to make key decisions regarding waste management post-Brahmapuram fire

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Photo: GR Rahul/ Mathrubhumi

Kochi: The decision regarding the exclusion of Zonta Infratech Private Limited from bio-mining will be discussed in the corporation council meeting scheduled for Tuesday. The assistance of the state government will be sought to determine the best approach for bio-mining. Additionally, an allocation of Rs 1.4 crore has been earmarked to prevent ash and other materials from flowing into Kadambrayar river following the fire incident in Brahmapuram.

After receiving instructions from the government to exclude Zonta, the corporation promptly issued a show cause notice to the company. Subsequently, Zonta has approached the court in response to the notice. It is noteworthy that the corporation has already invested over Rs 11 crore in bio-mining activities.

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An emergency council meeting has been called on Tuesday to address various issues arising from the garbage problem after the fire incident in Brahmapuram. The corporation faces the significant challenge of managing the accumulation of ash and partially burnt garbage in Brahmapuram. The corporation is considering implementing measures recommended by the Pollution Control Board. It has also sought the opinion of the district administration on how to proceed. Proposed actions include constructing a retaining tank, building a bund, and spreading a tarpaulin sheet over the waste to prevent ash flow.

In Kochi, approximately 280 tonne of biodegradable waste needs to be disposed of daily. Due to the upcoming BPCL natural gas plant in Brahmapuram, the municipality has decided to reduce the capacity of the windrow compost plant from 150 tonne to 50 tonne. A fresh tender will be issued for this purpose. In the interim, authorised service providers will handle organic waste until the new plant is operational. The council is also deliberating on exempting divisions 2, 3, 4, and 5 of West Kochi from user fees. Furthermore, they are considering accepting waste from economically disadvantaged families without imposing user fees.

The corporation is actively seeking an agency to establish a sanitary waste processing plant with a capacity of 20 tonne. To enforce stricter regulations, an on-the-spot fine collection system through e-swapping machines will be introduced. The corporation plans to authorise private companies to collect plastic waste at a lower rate than Clean Kerala Company. Two companies have expressed interest in transporting waste at a reduced cost, with private companies charging Rs 7.5 a kg compared to Clean Kerala Company's fee of Rs 10. One company has even offered to collect and transport plastic waste without any charge.

Regarding the septage waste treatment plant, it has been decided to relocate the project from the flood-prone area earmarked in Brahmapuram to a 1.5-acre site at the sewage plant in Elamkulam. This decision was made during a ministerial-level meeting following the evaluation by the Sanitation Mission Technical Committee. However, local opposition has arisen concerning the construction of the septage plant in Elamkulam due to concerns about increased traffic congestion caused by the arrival of 200 lorries daily. If the council does not approve the project, which would benefit other local bodies, government intervention may be necessary to address the situation.

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