April 20, 2024
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Story of the Brahmapuram waste plant that suffocates Kochi city

The Brahmapuram Waste Treatment Plant in Kochi, Kerala has been a source of controversy and concern for several years, with many residents of Kochi alleging that the plant has been causing air and water pollution, leading to health issues for people in the surrounding areas.

The plant, which is managed by the Cochin Corporation, receives solid waste generated in the city and its surrounding areas, and processes it through composting, vermicomposting, and waste-to-energy incineration. While the plant has been effective in managing the waste generated in the region, it has also been accused of causing significant pollution and environmental damage.

Residents in Kerala’s Kochi have been suffocating as a result of toxic gases that have engulfed the city since March 2 due to a huge fire at the Brahmapuram garbage factory. The Kerala Fire Force, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force are all contributing to efforts to put out the fire, but Kochi is still suffering from severe air pollution brought on by hazardous vapours from burning plastic debris.

One of the major issues with the plant is the problem of overflowing waste. In 2019, the plant had to be shut down temporarily due to the accumulation of waste beyond its capacity, leading to overflowing waste and a foul smell in the surrounding areas. There have also been reports of contaminated water and soil in the vicinity of the plant.

Trash management has long been a serious issue in Kochi. The Kochi Corporation acquired 37 acres of land at Brahmapuram, about 17 kilometres from the city, in 1998. In order to construct a waste treatment facility there, a contract was signed with the Andhra Pradesh Technological Development Corporation in 2005. However, there were numerous demonstrations by the locals opposing the project.

A plant was erected there after a 15-acre marsh was cleared in 2007. The 250 tonnes per day waste plant was first operational in 2008. Nevertheless, the factory had failures after 1.5 years. Although investigations into alleged building flaws were started, they haven’t really produced any results.

Meanwhile, the Kochi Corporation was forced to acquire even more land on the demand of nearby residents. Today, the Brahmapuram waste plant is spread over 110 acres of land near the major IT parks of Kochi city.

Presently, in addition to the Kochi Corporation, the waste is dumped at the Brahmapuram waste factory by the municipalities of Cheranallur, Vadavukod Puthankurish, Kalamassery, Aluva, Angamali, Thrikkakara, and Thripunithara.

Every day, 390 tonnes of trash are discharged at the Brahmapuram waste facility. Plastic and other non-biodegradable materials make up the remaining 34%, leaving 64% of this as biodegradable.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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