KOCHI: The Ernakulam Market on Tuesday witnessed a unique sit-in by sub-judge and secretary of Kerala Legal Services Authority (KeLSA) A. M. Basheer against the mounting waste producing the stench there. Police also arrived at the spot. The sub-judge told reporters that he arrived following complaints from within the market against the inaction of the authorities.
He also said that scores of traders there had no mandatory licence from the food safety department and the corporation.Meat, fish and vegetables are sold from the market and with rains intensifying it became unbearable for all. A Kochi Corporation official said the sub-judge came there to inspect licence of a trader. A team of food safety officials led by assistant commissioner K. V. Shibu had also arrived there to check the quality of vegetables and others. They also collected samples. The sub-judge said that he was told about occurrences of vegetables collected from waste heap being sold to customers.
"This is a dangerous situation where contagious diseases can break out anytime and hence I decided to react," he said.The protest, which began at 10 am, ended at 4 pm after the Kochi Corporation removed seven truckloads of waste.Later, mayor Soumini Jain sought an explanation from a health officer, a health inspector and three junior health inspectors for the sorry state of affairs.
Corporation health standing committee chairperson V. K. Minimol told DC that problems at Brahmapuram waste treatment plant due to incessant rains affected the removal of waste. "We have been removing it on a regular basis. The market generates 12 to 15 tonnes of waste daily which is removed in six loads every day. However, this pattern was affected for the past two days because of which some waste piled up," Minimol said adding that the issue of licences is caught in cases now.