Rights panel order following visit to waste treatment plant
A recent fire at the waste treatment plant at Njeliyanparamba has brought the waste management issues in Kozhikode city to the notice of the Kerala State Human Rights Commission. Judicial member of the Commission K. Baijunath, who visited the plant on Monday, has asked the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation Secretary to submit a report within 10 days on steps that could be taken to alleviate the problems faced by local people due to the plant.
Former councillor Mohammed Shameel, who had filed a complaint with the Commission, pointed out that the fire had caused much discomfort for local people. Besides, residents complained of the pollution of water in their wells and the stink generated from the plant.
The Commission asked the Kozhikode Corporation to take the issues seriously. A major direction was to repair the shed where waste is collected, to prevent rainwater from entering it. The Commission noted that water combined with waste could lead to health issues for residents. The Commission also asked the Corporation to ensure that waste water from the plant did not go out of the plot.
Meanwhile, work on the waste-to-energy plant coming up at Njeliyanparamba is taking more time than expected to be completed, mostly due to the non-availability of manpower and other hurdles posed by COVID and the lockdown. The project was launched in January 2020 and was expected to be completed in a year. Biomining to remove the residue waste in the plot is also in progress. The Corporation is also unable to bring machinery from abroad due to the lockdown. Work on the waste-to-energy plant, being carried out by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, through a Bengaluru-based private firm, can begin once the biomining is completed.
The waste treatment plant produces around 250 tonnes of organic manure every month. The Corporation had earned around ₹33 lakh from the sale of the manure in the previous financial year.
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