Two years ago, a similar sized pile had been set ablaze on the Kankanady bye-pass road, said Mohammad Kunhi, a resident. “Dense smoke, and bits of plastic flew around everywhere, endangering everyone who stayed nearby…This year, too, they (sweepers) have accumulated the plastic and have started to stuff dried grass in them. We had told the MCC they will set it afire, and today, they have done it,” he said, and added that nearly “one-truck load” of garbage had been set on fire.
The plastic, he said, came from those thrown by nearby hotels, a few residents and careless motorists on the road. “Since there is an empty space, it has become an unofficial dumping ground,” he said.
Though MCC officials intervened after the mound was set on fire and doused the fire, they left behind half-burnt garbage at the spot, said residents.
President of the Anvita Apartment Owners Association, Edward Nazareth, said three big apartments border the pile and called it a “serious health hazard”.
Warning civic workers
MCC Environment Engineer Madhu S.M. said a notice would be initiated against the private contractor whose workers have been found to set the pile ablaze. He said the pile would be removed, while, penalty could be imposed on the contractor.
However, following this, and other complaints of burning of garbage in the city, he said MCC pourakarmikas and contractors had been warned against setting garbage on fire. “With our own employees, we cannot penalise. We only issue an oral warning. With the private contractors, we can threaten them with penalties,” he said.
However, he admitted that getting the workers to change their “old habits” was an uphill task.