Waste handling at Thripunithura municipality proves a damp squib

Space for waste collection not identified; plastic recycling not taken up, says Opposition

Though the Thripunithura municipality had accorded priority to handling plastic waste and general waste management in its Budget, the issues have largely remained unaddressed even as the financial year is coming an end.

Collection of plastic waste from houses and shops remains partial, and the much-publicised Beacon project was a non-starter.

According to Opposition councillor V.R. Vijayakumar, though the issue affects the daily life of peole, the municipality has shown no interest in devising a viable project.

The civic body is yet to identify a place for waste collection nor has it proposed projects like plastic recycling, while ward-level collection is restricted to a few areas.

Over a lakh people live in the municipal area, and the Health wing is short-staffed to meet residents’ requirements, said Sukumaran K.R., another Opposition councillor. Moreover, the local body can recruit more hands to get the work done efficiently as it faces no fund shortage. However, funds are not being used for important projects, he alleged. The Opposition has raised the issue several times in the past, said Jasheer, another councillor. Nandakumar Attupurath, another councillor from the Opposition bench, said the Beacon project, which was started with much fanfare, had to be called off. The Opposition had objected to the project earlier because of the high cost involved. Several students were recruited to conduct surveys and create awareness, but such initiatives failed to make an impact, he added.

Meanwhile, O.V. Salim, vice chairman, Thripunithura municipality, said the local body had been conducting regular checking to implement plastic ban in shops. Deepthi Sumesh, chairperson, health standing committee, said the municipality had been involved in waste management even as she called for a change in people’s attitude. The municipality collects plastic waste from roads, shops, and households on a regular basis. However, the Beacon project has been a failure, she said.

V.V. Jayan, president of Thripunithura (North) unit of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti (Hasan Koya section), said plastic waste was not being collected from traders. The samiti had asked the municipality to provide paper bags, but the local body was not apparently interested in the idea.

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