Kochi: Residents living by the Thrikkakara wetlands say that domestic waste ranging from plastic and glass to sanitary napkins are dumped into the wetlands during the night-time. According to P.B Shri Lakshmi from the Pollution Control Board of Ernakulam, the dumping does not only affect the flora fauna but, is also polluting the groundwater used by an estimated 1,20,000 people living in the region.
Unregulated domestic waste is being dumped into the wetlands of Thrikkakara region by unidentified people of the locality. According to Captain Premnath, a resident living by the polluted wetland, “We do not know who is dumping the waste. They come in the night-time; we are unable to spot them.” According to Anthony Paravara, an official from the Thrikkakara Municipal Corporation, “We are in the process of fixing cameras in places where waste is being dumped, there are 43 wards in our region and every ward will have at least five cameras installed soon.”
Residents are worried because of how unhygienic the environment around their house is. Waste management has always been an issue of concern in the Thrikkakara region of Kochi.
Traditionally, each worker of Haritha Karma Sena collects garbage from 250 households of the region. They segregate green waste and non-biodegradable waste and take it to the waste disposal yard in Brahmapuram. This service of waste collection provided by the Thrikkakara Municipality is based on a user-fee and is not made compulsory for the residents by the authorities. Households are also provided with waste management systems like Biogas and Bio Compost Ports at subsidized prices by the Municipality.
The Pollution Control Board has stated that unless strict action is taken against the ones polluting the wetlands, people will continue to violate solid waste rules and provisions. The police now have a circular allowing them to act when such incidents take place.
Mathsy Kutty, the project manager of Green Initiatives, Infosys told us that segregated waste can be used to produce manure, thermal energy and even electricity. She added that mismanagement of waste into other ecosystems further penetrates our food chain. Waste that is seen as a problem in households could be of use to us only if we managed it well.