Sunday, June 10, 2012

Vilappilsala panchayat rules out talks with corporation

TNN Jun 9, 2012, 04.36AM IST

Ruling out all chances of a negotiation, Vilappilsala panchayat officials have intimated the government that the panchayat was not ready to give in to any demand of the corporation which was presented at the last mediation committee meeting.

In the meeting convened by the high court appointed mediation committee in May, the corporation had put forward the three demands before the panchayat. The corporation demanded that it should be allowed to transport the manufactured fertilizer from the factory, to transport clay to the factory for land-filling and to process the already dumped garbage in the factory. The all-party meeting convened by the Vilappilsala panchayat president Sobhana Kumari on Wednesday firmly objected to accepting any of the demands of the corporation. They said that unless the government implements the cabinet decision to permanently shutdown the plant, the panchayat would not bow down to any kind of pressure.

The decision was formally communicated to minister for urban affairs Manjalamkuzhy Ali on Friday. "We have made our stand clear to the government. Now we will present our version at the mediation committee meeting to be held on June 15. None of the party representatives want to oblige to the demands of the corporation and naturally panchayat has to stand by them," said Sobhana Kumari.

Meanwhile, the panchayat will slam the second notice on city corporation asking the civic body to shut down the operations of the Vilappilsala waste processing plant. The panchayat had first sent the notice in May demanding immediate closure of the garbage treatment plant. The notice cited that the corporation did not have any licence to run the factory and that the panchayat holds the right to demand the shutdown of any factory that functions without a valid licence. It had also demanded the corporation to take action on the contents of the notice within 15 days from the receiving of notice.

"Till date we have not received any intimation as response to the notice. As per the municipality act we need to serve three notices before we can move the court. Accordingly, the second notice will be served this week itself," said Sobhana Kumari. A panchayat official said that the notice was ready and it would be served on Monday.

Chandy admits failure

For the first time, chief minister Oommen Chandy has admitted his role in worsening the garbage crisis in the city by deciding to lock the Vilappilsala garbage treatment plant. "We can't use force and shoot at people for opening up the plant," he said during a meet the press organized by Kesari Memorial Journalists Trust here on Friday.

Chandy added that his efforts to convince the locals about the advanced waste treatment plant proposed to replace the existing plant failed. "We had held several rounds of talks with agitators but couldn't convince them as we failed to keep the promises we had made on earlier occasions," he said. Government's plan was to invest heavily at the Vilappilsala plant to set up some industrial units. "The new plant based on advanced technology wouldn't have required the space occupied by the old plant. The vacant space could be used for setting up new projects. But, they didn't listen to that. I wish they would have," he said.

CM said the government now has a focus on how to deal with the garbage crisis. A three-pronged strategy - setting up a plastic shredding unit, encouraging waste treatment at source by providing 75% subsidy and setting up advanced treatment plants for garbage treatment in cities - would be adopted by the government to solve the garbage issue. Chandy also clarified that the government would not open the plant forcefully. --tnn