The Kerala High Court, on Monday, directed the Secretary of Cochin Municipal Corporation to provide the chronology of the consideration of passing over the responsibility of managing Brahmapuram Solid Waste Management Plant facility by a 3rd party agency.

The bench of Justice S.V. Bhatti and Justice Basant Balaji added that the mode and manner in which the decisions are taken shall also be incorporated in the said chronology.

The Court has also directed to place before the court the payments made by the Cochin Municipal Corporation under the head of collection, transportation, handing over, treatment etc. for the past seven years to the contractors or the staff.

The Court was dealing with a suo motu writ petition in connection with the fire at the Brahmapuram waste plant.

Advocate General K. Gopalakrishna Kurup appeared for the State and Standing Counsel K. Janardhana Shenoy appeared for Kochi Municipal Corporation. Standing Counsel T. Naveen appeared for State Pollution Control Board.

The Court issued these directions after the District Collector placed on record, the report of the Committee constituted by the court. The report, with brief expression, described the lamentable situation, in which the site is termed as a facility and claiming to discharge the statutory standards set by Solid Waste Management and Handling Rules 2016 is in existence.

The District Collector, submitted that 90 to 95% of the fire at different places has been put out. The District Collector further informed that there is improvement in air quality near the site, neighbourbood and in the city.

During the previous hearing of the case, the Kerala High Court formed a committee consisting of high-ranking officers to conduct audit of the environmental/ infrastructure facilities provided for by the Cochin Municipal Corporation at Brahmapuram plant.

The Court in its Order dated March 10 directed the Committee to schedule a visit to the site within 24 hours. The Court also directed the Additional Chief Secretary and the Secretary to explore viable, alternative long-lasting solutions for the handle, handover, transport, and safe disposal of solid waste generated from the twin cities of Cochin and Ernakulam.

The Court had noted that since the Cochin Municipal Corporation is under the statutory obligation to dispose of the solid waste at the designated and specified place on account of the continuing fire at the site, but not collecting the solid waste for the past one week.

The Court has posted the matter to March 14 for further hearing.

Cause Title- Suo Motu v. State of Kerala & Ors.

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