Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala has been engulfed in smog for the past eight days owing to the fire at the Brahmapuram dumping yard. The Kerala High Court, took serious note of the administration's failure at controlling the fire and has formed a high-level committee that has been asked to audit the environmental/ infrastructure facilities provided by the Cochin Municipal Corporation at the Brahmpauram site.
According to a report by LiveLaw, the bench noted that the Brahmapuram issue had been engaging the attention of the National Green Tribunal, which had imposed a heavy fine on the Cochin corporation for its lapses in 2018. In November 2018, the High Court had stayed the NGT's order.
"Between the date of passing of the order(stay order), till date, it cannot be stated with confidence that any of the measures expected from the Cochin Municipal Corporation by the National Green Tribunal have been carried out," the court commented.
Several users took to Twitter to show the toxic smog that covered different parts of the state.
Tripunithura feels like a gas chamber now, thanks to the Brahmapuram fire. And look at the air quality! Kudos to Kochi Corporation for giving us a ‘Delhi experience’ #Brahmapuram #AirPollution #AirQuality #Kochi pic.twitter.com/WkHCYjFK3f— S. Anandan (@Anandans76) March 5, 2023
The fire from the #brahmapuram waste plant has spread through Kochi. This is 12kms away from the area, mind you, and not facing the direction from which the smoke is coming. The smell is unbearable.#nofilter pic.twitter.com/ocR0gVIDOk— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) March 6, 2023
Naval Fire Fighting Services were pressed into action after the Kochi Corporation authorities worried about worsening air quality. In a tweet, a Defence spokesperson said the Navy was committed to extending all possible help to bring the situation under control.
Government's health survey
Meanwhile, the Kerala government on Friday decided to conduct a health survey in the areas around Brahmapuram to assess the health-related problems caused by the smoke pollution emanating from the smouldering waste plant there.
Health Minister Veena George said the survey will include people who are immediately affected and also those who live in the surrounding areas. "We have taken this decision in a high-level meeting today. Our community medicine experts will prepare a questionnaire. The district team will prioritise the places and our field staff will be trained to do the house-to-house survey, in order to analyse what is the real situation on the ground," George told reporters.
(With inputs from PTI)