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Strengthen waste management: Ombudsman

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, MARCH 3. The Ombudsman for Local Self-Government, K.P. Radhakrishna Menon, has directed the Kochi Corporation to chalk out a solid waste management programme on the lines of the one successfully implemented by the `Clean Kerala Business of Kudumbasree Mission'.

The Ombudsman issued this directive at a sitting held at the GCDA conference hall here today. He pointed out the example of the system implemented at the Changampuzha Colony in Kalamassery municipality. The system to collect and dispose of the solid waste at the place of origin and regulate liquid waste should be formulated before the monsoon sets in, he said.

The attempts made by the Kochi Corporation had not been successful, though it had tried various methods, he said. The Corporation secretary, the health officer and engineer should hold meetings with Kudumbasree officials, especially Kabir B. Haroon, district mission coordinator of Kudumbasree, to finalise the details of the programme.

According to the programme implemented by the Kudumbasree, resident associations employ women to collect plastic and non-plastic waste separately.

The Ombudsman took up 11 cases from different municipalities and panchayats in the periphery of the Corporation and decisions were taken on five of them.

After hearing the parties in the case filed against Thrikakkara panchayat, he pulled up the panchayat secretary and observed that the diversion of funds for maintenance of a lane at Maithripuram crossroad, after inviting work tenders for maintenance work of the crossroad, amounted to maladministration.

This should be corrected immediately and the work should be limited to the crossroad and not to a lane in this section. He also directed the panchayat secretary to bear the court expenses incurred by the petitioner, which was fixed at Rs.1000.

The Ombudsman also ordered the Chengamanad panchayat to provide land for an elderly woman, who was one among 28 persons evicted from a `puramboke' land.

All except the lady were rehabilitated and her case was rejected citing the reason that she was one among seven heirs who inherited seven cents from her deceased husband.

The Ombudsman sitting would continue on Thursday and this will be followed by two more days of sittings to take up cases from Thrissur and Palakkad districts.

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