Trivandrum: The wastes have literally mounted up in the Chalai vegetable market and the frustrated merchants have decided to close the market down, even it being the Onam season.
“There is no other option left for us. It is simply impossible to do business under the present conditions. We have decided to close the market down and send a notice to the government to do something about it,” says former councillor Chalai Mohan.
The situation is so acute that the merchants, in spite of it being the best season of the year, can't comprehend stretching business at least till Onam before taking the harsh step.
After closing down of the Vilappilshala waste treatment plant in December last year, burying the waste in open places has been the option exercised by the corporation to tackle the issue of waste. Now that temporary solution does not exist. It could be safely assumed that there are no more open, vacant, corporation or government owned land left in the city that doesn’t have waste buried beneath it.
“The plan to set up a waste treatment plant near Manacaud market got foiled for the same reason. For the plant to be built there, the buried waste has to be excavated and disposed off someplace else; and we do not have any more open spaces left to do it,” said K Chandrika, Mayor of Trivandrum.
The vacant plots lying adjacent to the Chalai market, towards the Attakulangara – Killipalam bypass, has been the ‘safest’ spot for the corporation to bury waste, since the protests here have been the least. But, with buried waste almost reaching the borders of the Kaimadom colony, the voices of protest have started to rise.
A portion of the waste was taken out by the corporation on Thursday morning. But these wastes were carried down the road towards the vacant plots. Which is no solution at all, as far as the merchants are considered.
“It is of no use moving the waste from one place to the other; there needs to be a permanent solution, nothing less,” says Chalai Mohan.
The Rs. 1 crore worth festivities that the government has planned for the capital city as part of its Onam celebrations are set to start soon. However, the wave of desperation among its people is palpable. Emotions are running high too. The growing stink beneath the unusually hot sun and a whole range of viral diseases starting from Dengue fever are set to hit hard on the Onam festivities. Come September and a real long term solution is what the traders and the city want.