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Truck shortage hits waste transport

KOCHI: Jun 02, 2017

KOCHI: With the contractors, who won the bid to transport garbage to solid waste treatment Plant at Brahmapuram, failing to provide adequate trucks, waste movement in the city has been hit.

The corporation decided to send a notice to the contractors asking them to provide adequate trucks and clear the waste before it gets piled up leading to spread of epidemic or face termination of contract.

It was a week ago that new contractor took over the responsibility of transporting waste from different parts of the city to the Brahmapuram plant. The bid for transporting biowaste was won by one contractor while another person secured the bid for transporting plastic waste from the city.

Unlike the earlier system, where the remuneration was given on the basis of trips conducted by each truck supplied by the contractor, the new system fixes rate according to the weight of waste transported. "The contractors are not providing adequate trucks. So, waste has started to pile up in the city. Though, we brought the issue to the notice of the contractors, they are yet to supply adequate trucks," health standing committee chairperson V K Minimol said.

"Waste remains piled up in the streets. It is mainly in the vacant land holdings that it is being dumped during night. This would be the breeding ground for mosquitoes, rats, etc. which spread communicable diseases like dengue and leptospirosis," said K G Panicker, president, Jesus Road Residents Association, Vaduthala. "Unless corporation acts, chances are high for outbreak of communicable diseases in the city," he said.

The situation would turn worse in the areas with high Muslim concentration. "During the holy month of Ramzan, there would be feasts and Nombu Thuras (ending fast) every day. So, more food waste would be generated. Unless, the corporation authorities act fast and clear the waste, such pockets would witness spread of communicable diseases this monsoon," a councillor said.

According to the contractors, the corporation's contingency workers who load the waste in to trucks would stop work by 12 noon. "They would start by 6am and stop by 12noon. Our trucks would operate first trip in the morning and would return only after 12 noon. We are ready to conduct second trips. But, the workers won't be there," a contractor said.

A fortnight ago, the number of cases of dengue reported from Thiruvananthapuram was around 130 per day.

Then, the corporation had done little to clear the waste from the city. Now, the number of dengue cases reported from the capital city has come down to 30-40 per day. If corporation fails to learn from the capital's experience, the city would be under the grip of communicable diseases.