Waste management: Kochi Corporation slaps Rs 54 lakh fine on violators

Fire and Rescue Service personnel try to douse the flames at Brahmapuram waste plant; Kochi Municipal Corporation office. Photo: Manorama News

Kochi: The Kochi Corporation has slapped a fine to the tune of Rs 54 lakh on those who have violated the rules of waste management in the city. The violators were found in a series of inspections conducted within the Corporation limits in a month. The inspections were conducted in households, institutions and public places.

The Corporation revealed the figures at a review meeting, chaired by ministers M B Rajesh and P Rajeeve, as part of intensifying the waste treatment works in the district.

Apart from the Rs 54 lakh penalty, two squads formed at the district level have slapped fines worth Rs 2,84,000 on violators identified in inspections conducted at various local bodies.

The review meeting has decided to stop local bodies, except Kochi Corporation, from taking bio-degradable waste to the Brahmapuram dump yard after April 30. The local bodies have been instructed to find alternative and lawful systems within the deadline

The members of the local bodies should conduct visits to all the houses and establishments to convince them of the legal necessity of implementing waste management programmes properly. The ministers also suggested in the meeting that houses and institutions without proper waste disposal systems should be identified and further steps should be taken.

A widespread awareness campaign should be organised under the leadership of municipal councillors in the coming days. The meeting also assessed that the campaign is being carried out efficiently in Maradu, Tripunithura, Kothamangalam and Eloor municipalities.

The meeting also discussed handling the non-biodegradable waste remaining in the city following the crisis triggered by the fire at the Brahmapuram plant. The authorities, in consultation with the Kerala Enviro Infrastructure Limited, will examine the possibilities of one-time removal of the garbage.

Police checks should be strengthened to ensure fines are slapped on those who litter roadsides. It has also been decided to take measures including seizing vehicles that dump waste illegally.

As part of awareness activities in all local bodies, exhibitions and marketing fairs on waste management systems should be organised before April 30 under the leadership of Suchitwa Mission. As part of the pre-monsoon cleaning, it has been decided to remove the garbage deposited on the roadside and install a CCTV camera system wherever possible. It was decided in the meeting to convene a meeting of the people's representatives at the block level and appoint the selected Harita Karmasena members as trainers in homes and institutions.

The virtual meeting was held to evaluate the progress of the action plan submitted to the Kerala High Court for the efficient and complete implementation of waste management activities.

MLAs T J Vinod, K Babu, P V Srinijin, Eldhos Kunnappilly, Kochi Corporation Mayor M Anilkumar, Additional Chief Secretary Sarada Muralidharan, District Collector NSK Umesh, municipal presidents, secretaries and other district-level officials were present.

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