Thiruvananthapuram: The fight of hundreds of villagers of Peringamala finds success with the state government seriously planning to shelve the controversial integrated decentralised waste treatment plant proposed at the ecologically sensitive Pering-amala.
Widespread protest irrespective of political party affiliation broke out following the announcement of the project over a year ago to set up an integrated waste treatment facility to dispose of city waste at Peringamala, a place tucked away from the city and which is part of the Western Ghats.
Finally, the authorities have caved under pressure and are planning to change the location of the project to Muttathara, which is within the city limits. The LSGD has decided to use 20-acre land at Muttathara near the Sewage Trea-tment Plant (STP) for setting up the project. Kerala State Pollution Control Board Chair-man Ajit Haridas told DC that the state government is seriously thinking to relocate the plant to a closer location within the city limits.
“The government has land at Muttath-ara near to the STP and currently the plan is to use the 20 acre land for the purpose. LSGD has come up with this proposal. Also, Peringamala is far away from the city limits and transporting city waste to far away spots is not ideal and incur transportation cost,” said Mr Ajit Haridas. Peringamala in Thiruvananthap-uram is one of the seven locations identified by the government for setting up the waste plant in the state.
According to sour-ces, the official confirmation from the government is yet to co-me. “Discussions are on and as far as we know the land at Muttathara were the plant is being planned is currently in the hands of State Insti-tute of Medical Edu-cation and Technology (SIMET) for construction of a nursing college” said a source.
The villagers had staged a three-day pro-test march from Peri-ngamala to Assembly complex demanding the government to drop its plan to set up the plant.
As many as 5000 people including elderly and children took part in the march and many kno-wn personalities from cultural sphere and green ac-tivists extended solidarity for the protest. Recently, former chief minister V.S. Achutha-nandan too visited the protestors and extended his support.
Photographer Sali Palode, an active member of the action committee against the waste plant said that they will continue the-ir protest till the government issues order withdrawing the project from Peringamala.
“The government is not very keen to implement the project here. Local body election is around the corner and if the government moves forward with the project there will be consequences during the election,” he added....