Opposition Congress-led UDF councillors on Monday protested in front of the corporation office here against the alleged 'failure' of CPI(M)-led government to douse the fire at the Brahmapuram Waste Treatment Plant.
The protest turned violent resulting in police using force to remove the agitators.
The scuffle between the police and the protesters began when the opposition members blocked the vehicle of Mayor M Anil Kumar, who reached the corporation office to convene a council meeting.
How the government is responding?
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today congratulated the Fire and Safety Department officials who worked tirelessly to extinguish the fire.
He also appreciated the efforts taken by the Home guard, civil defence volunteers, Indian Navy, Air Force personnel among others.
After the council meeting, the Mayor told reporters that the corporation was ready to cooperate with any investigation.
"We in fact demand to investigate all the contracts in connection with the Waste Treatment Plant from 2011," Kumar said.
He also said that at the council meeting it was decided to give incentives to the members of the civil defence who assisted the fire force authorities and others in extinguishing the fire.
The Centre today sought a report from the State government on the fire incident and assured all help to ensure public health measures.
What is the current status?
District Collector N S K Umesh said considering the chances for minor reignitions, Fire and Safety officials are camping at the waste plant site along with excavators and other necessary means.
In the last part of the process to extinguish fire, over 200 officials including fire force, city corporation and others were involved while 22 excavators, 18 fire tenders and three high-pressure pumps were used.
The Kerala government on Sunday said 95 per cent of the fire at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant here has been extinguished and expects to douse the rest by midnight.
Umesh visited the site which was engulfed with toxic smoke since March 2 and informed that there are chances of minor fire breakouts due to the presence of flammable fumes.
In a Facebook video, Umesh, who went to the waste plant along with Ernakulam Regional Fire Officer Sujith and Cochin Corporation Additional Secretary Shibu, said the smoke was arrested considerably with the coordinated efforts of the authorities.
"The fire department and corporation officials among others were working tirelessly for the past 10 days to contain the fire. We have almost completely extinguished the fire from sector six and seven inside the plant. There are chances for small ignitions in isolated places. The fire force officials and others are ready to deal with it," Umesh said in a Facebook video.
A fire service official expressed hope that the blaze can be completely extinguished by midnight. "There's only a small spot inside the plant with smouldering fire and we now plan to direct all the excavators and fire tenders in that one location and douse it by tonight," the official pointed out.
Currently, 200 firefighters, 18 excavator operators, 68 civil defence members, 55 city corporation officials, 48 Home Guards, five personnel from Navy, two from BPCL, three from CIAL and four from the Revenue department are working continuously.
Medical units in position
In a related development, the mobile medical units, launched by the State Health department today treated 178 people, who were affected by the smoke from the plant.
"The mobile unit was launched to observe and treat those who have respiratory diseases," the Health department said in a statement. There are five mobile medical units.
A survey by the Health department to identify those who have suffered from any difficulties due to inhaling of the smoke will commence from Tuesday.
The district administration also informed that the air quality index in the city has shown improvement in the pollution level in the city.
The PM 2.5 particulates' level in the air in Kochi today came down to 110.41 whereas it was 165.1 on March 7, the district administration said.
The fire broke out in the waste dumped at the plant on March 2.
(With PTI Inputs)