Thiruvananthapuram: The Chief Minister’s Office has stepped in to resolve the ongoing rift between the State Pollution Control Board and the city corporat-ion which has worsened following the heavy fines imposed by the Board. The show cause notice imposing heavy fines issued by the PCB clashed with the declaration of Mayor V.K. Prasanth’s candidature at Vattiyoorkavu insta-ntly sparking a controversy.
Mayor V.K. Prasanth had given a letter to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking intervention in the matter. The PCB has imposed a fine amount to the tune of Rs 14.59 crore against the corporation. On Tuesday, Corporation Secretary was called for a discussion at the Chief Minis-ter’s Office in this regard. “We have been asked to be ready with a detailed response to the show cause notice issued by the PCB. We are yet to get the formal notice from PCB. They have put the notice on their website. We will be submitting our response immediately,” said the official.
Mayor V.K. Prasanth told DC that the civic body had formed speci-al committees for impl-ementing the order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
“NGT is holding mee-tings, reviewing the progress of our efforts to manage waste constantly. They are ready to listen to us but the state pollution control board is not ready to acknowledge our efforts. Land availability is an issue and they are holding the corporation responsible for not finding land for setting up the waste plant and sanitary landfill. This is totally unfair,” said the Mayor.
According to officials, it’s not the responsibility of the local body to find land for setting up a waste plant. “The LSGD secretary is responsible for finding land for the purpose. In the show cause notice, the PCB has put the blame on the civic body. We comply with most of the pointers in the notice and it’s totally unnecessary to impose such huge amount as fine,” said an official.
The officials alleged that this a deliberate move to sabotage the decentralised waste management plan of the civic body.
“We are the only corporation in the state who hasn’t agreed to set up waste to energy plant. The PCB hasn’t fined Kozhikode Corporation because they agreed for setting up the plant,” said a source.