Garbage management in Thrikkakara municipality is raising a stink with residents' associations accusing the municipal authority of doing little to contain a problem that has resulted in rising heaps of garbage even along thoroughfares.
From the road right in front of the famed Thrikkakara temple to Kudilimukku and Vazhakkala; Chembumukku and Kollamkudimugal, it is hard to pass even 100 metres without confronting heaps of plastic bottles, leftovers from kitchens, waste from meat shops, plastic carry-bags, decaying home furniture and abandoned car upholsteries.
Chairman of the Municipality P. I. Mohammedali said that the municipality had sought to use the now-defunct Brahmapuram facility for disposing of the waste from Thrikkakara area. The Corporation of Kochi has said that the plant would be functional in three months after which the municipality can use the facility, said Mr. Mohammedali.
He is optimistic that the company entrusted with its operation will also collect the garbage as promised by the Corporation. Otherwise, he said, he was helpless. “We will have no other way but to dump the waste at the Brahmapuram plant after the three-month period whether the improvements happens or not.”
Meanwhile, residents' associations in Thrikkakara are skeptical about a new scheme to provide 4,000 vermi compost pots at subsidised rates to households.
It is impossible to overcome the menace of improperly handled garbage without creating awareness among the people, says Salim Kunnumpuram of Thrikkakara Residents' Associations' Confederation.
He alleged that administration was only bothered about holding functions to mark the inauguration of new schemes while nothing was happening on the ground.
Former president of Thrikkakara panchayat M. E. Hassainar alleged that this was the worst administration Thrikkakara had seen since its inception as a local administrative body. He accused the current council of doing little and being hampered by feud within the ruling coalition.
Lack of workers to attend to the problem is another reason for the Municipality's failure so far in attending to garbage disposal effectively. It has only five workers and a vehicle for collection and Kudumbashree members make good the deficiency to a measure.
It is impossible to cover the entire municipal area with so few workers, admits the Municipal authority. While Kudumbashree workers make door-to-door collection of segregated waste, municipal resources are largely being used for clearing waste dumped along waysides.
Twenty-five sanitation workers sanctioned for the municipality are expected to join duty only by April. Even if this additional work force helps collect more waste, it would be more of a problem than a solution unless the municipality found a sustainable waste disposal facility.