Heated exchanges inside Ker Assembly over Brahmapuram Waste Treatment Plant fire
Schools were shut and it was unbearable to even sit inside the houses, Vinod said.He also said that with the fire, the waste movement inside the city has come to a standstill.We can see garbage mounds along the roadside at many places, Vinod alleged.However, Local Self-Government Department Minister M B Rajesh said over 125 fire force officials and the corporation authorities were working from day one of the fire itself to contain the fire.We dont want to throw dirt at each other but need a solution.
The Kerala Assembly on Monday witnessed heated exchanges between the treasury and opposition benches over the fire at the Brahmapuram Waste Treatment Plant in Kochi with the latter alleging it was the biggest man-made disaster in the southern state.
The government, however, countered the Opposition allegations by saying that both the ruling and opposition parties, which ruled the local bodies alternatively, were equally responsible for the fire at the waste treatment plant.
After the question hour, the opposition Congress sought a notice for adjournment motion to discuss the Brahmapuram plant fire issue.
Moving the notice for motion, Ernakulam MLA, T J Vinod said it was one of the biggest man-made disasters the state has ever witnessed, pointing to a Kerala High Court observation that Kochi has become a gas chamber.
''The government and the corporation failed to contain the fire. The district administration has asked people to stay inside their houses and to close the windows and doors. Schools were shut and it was unbearable to even sit inside the houses,'' Vinod said.
He also said that with the fire, the waste movement inside the city has come to a standstill.
''We can see garbage mounds along the roadside at many places,'' Vinod alleged.
However, Local Self-Government Department Minister M B Rajesh said over 125 fire force officials and the corporation authorities were working from day one of the fire itself to contain the fire.
''We don't want to throw dirt at each other but need a solution. The responsibility is on the local self-government bodies which are ruled by both the parties. The garbage mound was not accumulated in the last two years. The waste is also brought to Brahmapuram from seven other municipalities around Kochi Corporation,'' Rajesh said.
The minister also blamed the Congress party saying even after the National Green Tribunal had asked the Cochin Corporation to resolve the issue, the corporation, which was then ruled by the UDF, deferred the agenda 23 times, keeping the issue alive.
However, the opposition strongly opposed this statement of the minister.
Rajesh listed out the number of fire incidents reported across the country in recent times.
The minister said the state government expects the cooperation of the opposition to solve the crisis and highlighted the work done at the Guruvayoor dumpyard which is now converted into a park.
''We used bio-mining technology and cleaned up that place. We will do the same to Brahmapuram also,'' Rajesh said.
However, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan ridiculed the claims of the government and said the fire and smoke were still there at Brahmapuram even though the government has said that it was almost extinguished.
''In the short-term, there are issues like irritation in the eyes and skin rashes. But in the long run, this air pollution may result in cancer, or such other serious diseases. The Health department refused to declare a health emergency in the area despite our request,'' Satheesan said.
Satheesan alleged that the private company which has the contract of manning the waste treatment plant has poured petrol and set it on fire.
''The company, which had secured the contract to dispose off the waste, received the money but failed to do their work. We suspect that they poured petrol and set it on fire. Or else, why is the government not ready to probe the incident? Why is there a delay in filing at least a preliminary report even after 12 days?'' Satheesan asked.
As the Speaker refused to allow the notice for motion, the Opposition trooped to the well of the house alleging that the LoP was not allowed to complete his speech.
Raising banners and amid sloganeering, they later boycotted proceedings of the day.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)