February 13th, 2012
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Waste laden lorries reach Vilappilshala; police arrests agitators


Thiruvananthapuram: Curfew under section 144 of IPC has been declared in Vilappilshala area for one week following clashes between the police and the agitators.  Waste laden City Corporation lorries that has reached Vilappilshala has been blocked by the agitators. “Go back” slogans are reverberating in the air.Two lorries carrying waste have reached the waste treatment plant. More than 500 police personals have been deployed in the area to bring the situation under control. The police have begun arresting the agitators. The protest situation intensifies as the police use all force to drag out the resisting agitators which includes women, young children and aged people. The arrested agitators are being shifted to nearby schools.

The City Corporation had decided to resume the movement of garbage to the Vilappilshala plant. The Vilappil panchayat members have taken a resolute stand to resist this move. Thousands of people including women and children led by the Janakeeya Samara Samithi activists staged a blockade in the Vellanadu- Vilappilshala road. The agitation began at 8 this morning. They have decided to stand strong in the face of any adversity and provocation.

The Corporation and the local residents of  Vilappilshala led by Janakeeya Samara Samithy are standing resolute and steadfast on their opposing stand. “We shall not allow the waste to be dumped at Vilappilshala at any cost, said panchayat president Shobhana Kumari. According to her the people of Vilappilshala could suffer from fever and several other harmful communicable diseases.

“It not only the people of Thiruvananthapuram but also the people of Vilappilshala  who are susceptible to such illness. We do not want any violence. We hope the matter will be solved peacefully. However, we shall not back down in fear. It is only because we respect the court verdict that we did not react when the police broke the lock on the waste treatment plant. The people of Vilappilshala are the ones who have the right to decide. The government only has the right to bring the waste to Vilappilshala. It does not have the right to employ force against us,” she added.

The LP and Up schools have declared holiday. They have declared that they are ready to face the consequences of the protest. But they shall not retract from their protest.

In the January 23rd High Court verdict the court declared that the Vilappilshala waste disposal plant should be reopened under police protection and must begin functioning.  All corporation vehicles and workers would be allowed to enter the plant with police protection. The court has asked the plant to function in accordance with the rules and regulations put down by the Pollution control board. “Waste exceeding 92 tonnes should not be disposed off at the plant”, the court stated. The Vilappilshala police personals broke open the lock that bound the gates of Vilappilshala waste treatment plant on February 4, 2011 to conform with this High Court verdict.

“All waste products including plastic waste must be disposed at the plant,” the court directed. The court has asked the corporation to submit an affidavit stating that the piled up waste shall be disposed off in this manner. Vilappil panchayat and Janakeeya Samithi closed down the Vilappilasala solid-waste treatment plant on December 21st claiming that the disposal plant was functioning without the necessary license. This action from the panchayat authorities affected the waste disposal  activities of Thiruvananthapuram city. This is one of the biggest waste disposal plants in the state. The court verdict was in response to the petition submitted by the Thiruvananthapuram corporation.





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