Illegal waste dumping: Special squads in Ernakulam district lagging behind in inspections in Kerala

Illegal waste dumping: Special squads in Ernakulam district lagging behind in inspections in Kerala

Ernakulam is placed 10th among the districts in Kerala in the number of inspections conducted across local bodies in the last six months. (a file picture)

Ernakulam is placed 10th among the districts in Kerala in the number of inspections conducted across local bodies in the last six months. (a file picture)
| Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The special enforcement squads formed to check illegal waste dumping in Ernakulam district are trailing in the number of inspections conducted since March 2023 compared to the units in most other districts in Kerala.

Ernakulam is placed 10th among the districts in the number of inspections held across local bodies in the last six months. Despite having two special squads, the district authorities have not been able to match the number of inspections conducted by squads in other districts, including Kozhikode, Alappuzha and Kottayam, according to the official figures available with the Local Self-Government department.

The total number of inspections conducted by the two squads in Ernakulam was 961 from March 23 to September 30. The two special squads deployed in Kozhikode conducted about 6,700 inspections in the corresponding period, while a single squad in Alappuzha held around 3,015 inspections to catch violators. Kottayam has two special squads and held around 2, 259 inspections.

Spot fines

The two special squads in Ernakulam imposed a total spot fine of ₹2.6 lakh after the drive was launched from 2023 March-end. The squads in Kozhikode imposed a total spot fine of about ₹56 lakh, while the penalty collected by the team in Alappuzha was ₹50.3 lakh. In Kottayam, the squads collected a total fine of about ₹10.9 lakh.

The local bodies in Ernakulam have requested the department to ensure sustained surprise checks by the enforcement squads, especially in the night hours.

Elected representatives and officials of the health wing at Maradu had seized two vehicles after the drivers tried to dump untreated sewage into open spaces recently. The authorities said the special squads have to be deployed at active dumping spots in the night hours to prevent the menace.

Each squad has an officer from the internal vigilance wing, a district Suchitwa Mission enforcement officer, an officer chosen by the joint director (LSGD), and, if the need arises, a police officer from the station in the particular area where checks are carried out.

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