High Court had issued interim order directing the opening of the plant
The garbage treatment plant of the Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation at Vilappilsala, which was closed down by the Vilappil panchayat, where the plant is situated, more than a month ago was reopened on Saturday.
The civic body had received an interim order from the Kerala High Court last month to reopen the plant until an alternative arrangement was made to process garbage collected from the city. The court directed the State government to provide police protection to the Corporation workers for reopening the plant and transporting garbage.
“We are merely complying with the court order. As per the order, the Corporation has to first process the accumulated garbage and mobilise workers for the construction works going on inside the plant before restarting garbage collection and transportation from the city. The High Court order makes it very clear that the Vilappilsala plant must be reopened until an alternative arrangement was made for treating waste collected from the city,” City Mayor K. Chandrika said on Saturday.
The Corporation would resume transportation of garbage to the solid waste treatment plant on February 13. Before that the accumulated untreated garbage inside the plant would be processed, the Mayor said.
Ms. Chandrika said that she had held discussions with top police officials on Friday to ensure police protection for reopening and running the plant as per the High Court order. “We are confident that we will be able to transport garbage to the plant with police protection from February 13. If the police or State government fails to help us in carrying out our duties it will be a clear case of contempt of court,” Ms Chandrika said.
Local body stand
Meanwhile, Vilappil panchayat president Shobhana Kumari said that the panchayat had not received any official communication regarding the reopening of the plant. “We only came to know about it from the people after police reached there. The panchayat respects the High Court decision. For the same reason, we will not oppose the move. However, if the Corporation tries to bring garbage collected from the city to the plant, the people of Vilappil will oppose it and the panchayat will only take a stand favouring the people,” Ms. Shobhana Kumari said.
Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samithi convener S. Burhan reiterated that the samithi would oppose any move to transport garbage from the city to the plant.
“We are firm on our stand. We will not allow a single garbage truck to enter the Vilappilsala plant,” he said.