Kochi waste dump fire
Firefighters try to douse the flames after a massive fire broke out at the Brahmapuram waste plant in Kochi on Saturday, March 4. Image Credit: ANI

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed Ernakulam Collector and Pollution Control Board Chairman to physically appear before the court on Wednesday on the fire that happened at Brahmapuram Waste Plant.

It also directed the Pollution Control Board to inform about the measures taken over the fire incidents happening every year at the waste plant.

On Monday, the court initiated a suo motu writ petition for the fire incident. Division Bench of Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice C Jayachandran considered this today.

The court also asked the Pollution Control Board Chairman what action was taken to control the pollution after the fire.

The court said that the pollution control board did not act according to the situation. The court warned that disciplinary action would be taken if no definite reply was received. The court also inquired whether the Brahmapuram fire was man-made.

The court directed that the garbage disposal in Kochi should be made safe before June 6.

The High Court expressed displeasure over the non-appearance of the Collector today.

The writ petition reads: “The repeated incidents of fire at the yard remains a cause of concern for local residents, and as per reports, plastic waste piled up at Kochi Corporation’s solid waste treatment plant has gone up in smoke without fail every year since 2019. Despite repeated episodes, the authorities have not been able to take concrete action to check such mishaps.”

The fire occurred on March 2 and it is still not extinguished completely. Indian Navy’s helicopters with fire and rescue officials are operating at Brahmapuram to douse the fire now.

The State Government on Saturday held a meeting and decided to explore a flooding approach to extinguish the fire. An official statement from the State Government stated that the meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary of Kerala discussed the ongoing efforts and options available for extinguishing the fire.

On Sunday, another meeting was held at Kochi by Kerala Health Minister Veena George and Law and Industries Minister P Rajeev with Ernakulam District Administration officials on this matter.

On Monday, Congress workers marched to the Kochi Corporation office as part of the protest seeking a High Court-monitored probe into the fire incident.