NH service roads face litter menace

Corpn. yet to implement SLMC directive to maintain them as ‘zero waste roads’

Service roads along National Highway-66 bypass from Edappally to Kundannoor remain dotted with heaps of waste at several points despite a directive from the Department of Local Self-Government and State-Level Monitoring Committee on Solid Waste management that they should be maintained as ‘zero waste roads’.

An assessment of the waste dumping scenario starting from Edappally revealed that the Kochi Corporation had not been able to implement the directive. The NH bypass stretch was among the six roads identified as zero waste roads here. The remaining include Sahodaran Ayyappan Road, Banerjee Road, Subhash Chandrabose Road in Ernakulam, K.B Jacob Road in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry BOT bridge to Alexander Parambithara Road near Kundannoor.

Service roads along the NH bypass have turned into permanent spots for dumping biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. Heaps of waste in plastic covers are a common sight on service roads, especially on the stretch from Edappally to Vyttila.

Waste is generally dumped close to vacant plots and near thick bushes that have not been cleared for months. The corporation’s warning boards saying waste should not be dumped can be seen at a few places.

The presence of large quantities of construction and demolition waste can be seen at various points along the NH bypass. With the district lacking the facility to treat construction and demolition waste scientifically, those responsible for generating waste often dump it along service roads and others in night hours.

The absence of surveillance cameras help violators go scot-free. Officials of the Department of Local Self-Government said they had issued directives to ensure regular checks by squads constituted by the local bodies. However, no such cases had been reported in recent times owing to the lack of a proper surveillance mechanism, they said.

The lack of joint efforts by local bodies and enforcement agencies has also delayed the process of taking legal and punitive measures against those involved in dumping of waste along roads. The committee had earlier asked the police to act stringently against violators. In such cases, the copy of the FIR should be forwarded to the District Legal Services Authority and the Pollution Control Board to facilitate the realisation of compensation from violators on ‘Polluter Pays’ principle.

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