Lt Col Anil Raj
On March 7, 2020, The Hindu newspaper reported that the State Government had issued an order entrusting the Local Self Government Department with the responsibility of handling the legacy waste at Brahmapuram because it felt that the Kochi Corporation was not in a position to manage this complex matter effectively. The tender process which the Corporation had initiated for bio-mining the legacy waste, stood cancelled. The daily collection and management of waste and operations at the Brahmapuram plant, however, was to continue to rest with the Corporation. What was the reason for this decision by the State Government? To understand the issues plaguing Brahmapuram and waste management in Kochi, we will have to rewind to 2007, when the waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram came into existence.
History of Brahmapuram Waste Treatment Plant
The landfill site at Brahmapuram came into being on June 30, 2007, when 27 tipper lorries fully loaded with stinking un-segregated waste escorted by police jeeps, arrived at a non-descript site in Chellipadam village at Brahmapuram in Vadavukode-Puthenkurissu Panchayat, just 17 kilometres from Kochi city. Fifty three families became refugees in their own village overnight. Such was the stench emanating from the garbage that many of them had to be hospitalised as they could not cope up with the headache, nausea and giddiness associated with it.
The author is a former Research Intern of CPPR and presently posted in an NCC unit in Ernakulam. Views expressed are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research
Report on landfill site of Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram by Independent Fact Finding Committee which was submitted on July 09, 2007.
Suchitra, M and Venugopal, P.N. “The Environmental Refugees of Brahmapuram.” July 24, 2007. http://www.indiatogether.org›bpuram-environment.