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Kochi Corporation told to ensure proper disposal of construction waste

Civic body yet to identify land for depositing demolition waste, says PCB report

The State Pollution Control Board (PCB) has recommended that the Kochi Corporation and other local bodies impose a condition for proper disposal of construction and demolition waste while issuing building permit as per norms under the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The proposal has found place in the board’s response filed before the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the case pertaining to unscientific handling of waste by the corporation and civic bodies by dumping biodegradable waste at the Brahmapuram yard. The regional office of the board will soon convene a meeting of the corporation, municipalities, and panchayats to discuss the existing mode of collecting construction and demolition waste.

A preliminary assessment revealed that local bodies, including the Kochi Corporation, were yet to get authorisation from the board for collection and disposal of construction and demolition waste. The board is awaiting a reply from the Kochi Corporation Secretary on the action plan for proper disposal of construction and demolition waste that had emerged following the demolition of the flyover at Palarivattom. The corporation has not yet identified land for depositing construction and demolition waste and sanitary landfill, according to the report filed before the NGT.

Meanwhile, the Corporation Secretary claimed that construction and demolition waste materials were not collected or mixed with other waste, transported and treated by the corporation. Construction and demolition waste is reused to fill low-lying and basement areas. It is also used for making pavement tiles and kerb stones. Such waste is processed and reused by builders themselves and has never been a menace to the public.

Interestingly, the agency engaged by the corporation to quantify construction and demolition waste had said that it could not find any such waste in Kochi, according to a letter from the Secretary in November last year.

The PCB had earlier proposed a recycling plant for the Kochi cluster of local bodies that would turn debris into usable sand and gravel. However, the local bodies turned down the proposal, citing non-availability of land.

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