Govt steps in to remove waste left on roads

With post-flood cleaning of living premises in full swing, wayside dumping of damaged electronic appliances and household goods is taking place rapidly, forcing the government to take urgent measures to remove these to safe places if not dispose them altogether.

At a meeting at flood-wrecked North Paravur on Monday, Minister A.C. Moideen issued necessary instructions to co-opt competent agencies to safely dispose inorganic material, mostly damaged bedding, clothes and the like. It follows a decision to this effect taken by the Cabinet last week. In parallel, local bodies in the six flood-hit districts have been asked to identify safe locations for temporary dumping of waste discarded from households.

Segregation of waste

“The Clean Kerala Company will segregate the discarded objects and ship them to these makeshift and sheltered dumping yards. E-waste, which is in abundance, will be handed over to its partner Earth Sense Recycle. The Suchitwa Mission has identified a few enlisted agencies to remove inorganic waste. Panchayats and municipalities have been authorised to rope in capable scrap dealers and plastic recyclers for speedy removal of garbage accumulated in their neighbourhoods. The local bodies may seek the assistance of fraternity bodies of scrap dealers and recyclers to get this done,” R. Ajayakumar Varma, executive director of Suchitwa Mission, told
The Hindu.

In Ernakulam, for instance, services of a waste-to-energy agency, G.J. Eco Power, were being used for the past two days to clear the streets of garbage.

Cleaning is in full swing in 22 panchayats across the district. Kizhakkambalam panchayat president K.V. Jacob said the panchayat would adopt Kunnukara panchayat, which suffered badly in the flood, and would do all cleaning free of charge.

Nearly 2.4 tonnes of sanitising solutions were issued to the local bodies in Ernakulam district so far, officials said. An effort to disinfect water sources would be launched in the coming days by the Health Department, Local Self-Government Department and UNICEF, and Kudumbasree entrepreneurs would be trained to conduct this.

Panchayats have been given a grant of Rs. 5 lakh each, at the rate of Rs. 25,000 per ward, for carrying out post-flood sanitation activities.

Aluva, North Paravur

Meanwhile, cleaning of living spaces was in full-swing in Aluva and North Paravur, two regions in Ernakulam badly battered by the floods, on Monday. “It is largely over except in the interior regions of Parakkadavu panchayat, places like Kurumassery. Of the 14 relief camps still in operation in the taluk, seven are in the panchayat,” said Tahsildar Sandhya Devi.

North Paravur Tahsildar M.H. Harish said 75% of premises were cleared of the muddy trail left by the waters. “But Kunnukara, Puthenvelikkara, Alangad, Vadakkekara, Karumaloor, Kadungalloor and Chendamangalam panchayats, which suffered the worst damage in the floods, have several households remaining to be sanitised. Panchayats and health officials and volunteer organisations are working together for this. While there was shortage of cleaning material earlier, the situation has improved,” he said, adding that dead livestock had already been safely disposed of.

Both tahsildars said work had already been kick-started by Booth Level Officers (BLO) to prepare a list of families whose houses were under water at least for two days. They are given five days to finish the survey and furnish details with bank accounts, telephone and Aadhaar numbers for providing an immediate relief of Rs. 10,000 each. Mr. Hareesh said certificate from local body councillors would also be taken into consideration before finalising the beneficiaries.

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