On November 11th, a fire broke out at the Brahmapuram waste plant in Kochi, Kerala. The fire occurred in the afternoon, and it took several hours for the firefighters to bring it under control. The incident has raised concerns and led to questions about the management of hazardous waste in the state.

Initially, it was believed that the fire was caused by a spark from a nearby transformer. However, during a rally held by the United Democratic Front (UDF), one of Kerala’s major political parties, the party’s leader, Ramesh Chennithala, alleged that the fire was set deliberately. He accused the state government of failing to take action against the individuals responsible for the arson.

The Brahmapuram waste plant is one of the largest waste disposal facilities in Kerala. It is located on the outskirts of Kochi city and has the capacity to process up to 200 tonnes of waste per day. However, the plant has been the subject of controversy due to complaints from nearby residents about the pungent odour and environmental pollution caused by the plant.

The UDF has been critical of the state government’s handling of the waste management issue in the state. Chennithala has alleged that the state government has failed to come up with a long-term solution to address the growing problem of hazardous waste in the state.

With its large population and thriving industries, Kerala generates a significant amount of waste each day. According to government estimates, the state generates around 10,000 tonnes of waste per day, including hazardous waste from industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and electronics.

However, the state has been struggling to manage its waste effectively. The government has been criticized for failing to implement effective measures to reduce the amount of waste generated and also for failing to provide adequate facilities to manage the waste.

The Brahmapuram waste plant was set up in 2016 as a solution to the growing waste management problem in the state. However, the plant has been beset by problems, including frequent fires caused by the accumulation of waste.

The latest fire at the plant has once again highlighted the need for a comprehensive waste management strategy in the state. The UDF has called for an independent investigation into the cause of the fire and has demanded that the state government take immediate action to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

In response to the allegations made by the UDF, the state government has denied any involvement in the arson and has promised to investigate the incident thoroughly. However, the government’s response has been criticized by opposition parties, who have accused the ruling party of being more concerned with politics than with the safety and well-being of the people.

The fire at the Brahmapuram plant is a wake-up call for the government to take the issue of waste management seriously. It is not enough to set up waste disposal facilities and hope for the best. The government needs to take a more proactive approach to waste management, including reducing the amount of waste generated, monitoring hazardous waste more closely, and investing in better waste management technologies.

The state government should also work with local communities to address their concerns about the health and environmental impacts of waste disposal facilities. There needs to be greater transparency and accountability in the management of hazardous waste.

The Brahmapuram fire is a tragic reminder that waste management is not just an environmental issue; it is also a public health issue. The state government must not neglect this critical issue any longer. It is time for a comprehensive waste management plan that prioritizes the safety and well-being of the people of Kerala.