Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Brahmapuram dump yard disaster: Govt criticized for inaction to sever air pollution, health hazards

More than a week since the massive fire at the Brahmapuram dump site in Kerala’s Kochi started, but the problems of the residents of Kochi are far from over.

Locals in the region who are calling the situation a nightmare, criticising the government and authorities for their silence over the issue.

A massive fire broke out at the Brahmapuram waste plant on March 2 and thereafter, the air quality in the port city of Kochi and neighbouring areas worsened as they were engulfed in dense smoke.

Even after a week since the massive fire, the whole town continues to be engulfed in smoke with locals in the region reporting several problems including breathing difficulties, dry cough, irritation and dryness in the eyes.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government on Saturday said 90 per cent of the fire at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant was extinguished and efforts were on to douse the rest of the affected area.

Under the 82-days-long action plan, stringent measures would be taken for the source-level management of bio-degradable waste and for the door-to-door collection of non-biodegradable waste in the State, Local Self-Government Minister M B Rajesh told reporters.

The Kerala High Court on Friday appointed a committee to monitor the situation. The committee comprises the Ernakulam district collector, Pollution Control Board officials and the secretary of the Kerala State Legal Services Authority.

Amid complaints of breathing difficulties and dry eyes by residents, the local administration has advised locals to remain indoors and use N-95 masks when they step out.

Meanwhile Several people drew attention to older social media posts such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India’s (DYFI) protest against the Amazon forest fires in 2019. The DYFI is the youth wing of the CPI(M), the party that leads the ruling Left government in Kerala.

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