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Lalur protest forum to resume agitation

Staff Reporter

Mayor accused of sabotaging LAMPS project

Samithy to observe fast in front of Corporation office on May 21

Mayor says protesters stalling projects

Thrissur: With no solution in sight for the garbage-induced problems in Lalur, the City Corporation's waste disposal site, the Lalur Malineekarana Virudha Samara Samithy has decided to resume its agitation.

The samithy has decided to stage a day's fast in front of the City Corporation office on May 21 in protest against the delay in the implementation of the Lalur Model Project for Solid Waste Management (LAMPS).

At a press conference here on Saturday, Samara Samithy chairman T.K. Vasu alleged that it was forced to resume the agitation as the Mayor was trying to sabotage the implementation of the LAMPS.

“Those who are tying to create legal hurdles for setting a garbage treatment plant near Sakthan Thampuran market have the support of Mayor I.P. Paul,” Mr. Vasu alleged.

It was exactly a year ago, on May 14, 2010, that the LDF government issued an order to implement the LAMPS, a project submitted by Kerala Agricultural University scientist Pathiyur Gopinath for decentralised management of waste generated under the Thrissur Corporation limits.

“Neither the then LDF-led corporation council nor the current UDF council had the political will to implement the project. Both have been insensitive towards the sufferings of the Lalur residents,” Mr. Vasu said.

The samithy demanded the closure of the present waste treatment facility at Lalur.

“In the last one year, the height of the garbage mount at Lalur dump yard has increased further. With the help of the police, the corporation continues to dump more and more garbage at the dump yard,” Mr. Vasu said.

VS thanked

It was unfortunate that Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan could not get the corporation to solve the problems faced by the people of Lalur, the samithy said. It expressed gratitude towards Mr. Achuthanandan for his initiative to find a solution to Lalur's problems.

If the authorities failed to take urgent steps before the onset of the monsoon, Lalur would witness the July 2009 tragedy again, Mr. Vasu said. On July 17, 2009, filthy water oozing out of the garbage heap at the dump yard flooded the houses in the area and contaminated the wells in the neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, the Mayor said that the corporation would take a decision on the Lalur issue after discussing it with the new UDF ministry that would come into power in the State.

“Some of the proposals under the LAMPS, including setting up of a garbage plant at the heart of the city near the Sakthan Thampuran market, should be reconsidered,” he said. He criticised the Samara Samithy for its frequent agitations. Many projects, including the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project for waste management, had to be stalled due to the protest by the samithy, he alleged.

He urged Mr. Gopinath, the chief coordinator of the LAMPS, to set up the treatment plant under the LAMPS first at Lalur.

Lalur has been forced to bear the brunt of the city's garbage for the last six decades. The agitation of the villagers gathered momentum during 1988. In between, three youths died of suffocation while cleaning a contaminated well near the Lalur trenching ground.

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