A survey by the State Pollution Control Board has found that the “common facilities” for solid waste management provided by the municipalities in Ernakulam have turned into mere “dumping sites”.
The survey was carried out by regional officers under the Ernakulam office of the board from February onwards. A preliminary assessment revealed serious lapses in the scientific management of solid waste generated in the civic bodies. The board has informed the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal that the survey has reached the half-way mark and it was delayed owing to the pandemic crisis.
The field-level officers found that only dumping of mixed waste was taking place at the centralised facility of Kothamangalam municipality in Kumbalathumuri. Several pockets have turned in to dumping areas. The civic body has not yet begun the management of old waste. In Muvattupuzha, the centralised facility was found located at the municipal boundary. Dumping of mixed waste was found at the site. Decentralised facilities were provided at the household level. Several pockets have turned into dumping areas while the civic body has not yet started the management of old waste lying in heaps.
Perumbavoor municipality has not provided any centralised plant for solid waste management. There was no scientific management of solid waste, except for a few decentralised units. The survey found that there was no centralised plant in Koothattukulam. The civic body also lacked scientific waste management practices.
At North Paravur, the centralised facility was located at Vedimara, where a small portion of biodegradable waste was disposed through windrow composting. The major portion of mixed waste was dumped in the yard. Decentralised plants were provided at the household level. Several pockets have turned into dumping areas. The civic body has not yet started management of old waste.
The situation was no different in Maradu, Aluva, Angamaly, Thrikkakara and Thripunitura municipalities that had failed to set up centralised plants. The civic bodies had a few decentralised units for waste management. The biodegradable waste in Aluva, Angamaly, Thrikkakara, Thripunitura and Kalamassery municipalities was transferred to the Kochi Corporation’s dumping yard at Brahmapuram. The survey teams found that a portion of the non-biodegradable waste was seen processed through a plastic shredder at the dumping yard of the Kalamassery municipality. The civic body had not yet launched any initiative for the management of old waste.
The scientific management of solid waste seemed a Herculean task as the civic bodies in the district have not yet complied with the directives issued by the State Level Monitoring Committee on solid waste management appointed by the National Green Tribunal, according to the findings.