Affidavit filed by one of the residents living near the Brahmapuram waste disposal facility, Kochi, Kerala, 20/03/2023
Affidavit filed by the 5th applicant pursuant to the direction of the National Green Tribunal dated 13/03/2023 in Original Application No. 442/2013.
A number of application's were filed by residents of Brahmapuram, Ernakulam district right from 2012 for the closing down of Brahmapuram waste disposal facility. In addition, they requested for appropriate remedial measures to restore the area of Brahmapuram waste disposal facility to its original state as far as possible.
The applicant said that the NGT vide order of October 22, 2018 had directed the Kochi Municipal Corporation to undertake treatment of the legacy waste at Brahmapuram, "which shall commence forthwith and shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure laid down under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016".
Inspite of the repeated directions from the National Green Tribunal and other statutory authorities, Cochin Corporation failed to act according to the terms of the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee appointed by the High Court of Kerala and the Chairman, State Level Monitoring Committee. The solid waste disposal facility at Brahmapuram was found to be operating in blatant violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and other environmental laws.
The applicant said that Cochin Corporation continues to be a "wilful perpetual defaulter" which has resulted in uncontrollable fire occurring at Brahmapuram on several occasions. On March 2, 2023 an enormous fire incident occurred at the Brahmapuram waste dumping yard, which soon became uncontrollable and poisonous.
The affidavit filed by P M Kareem also mentioned the report by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) 'Brahmapuram, a dioxin bomb'. This report has been lying dormant for more than 4 years when the fire broke out at Brahmapuram on March 2, 2023. The CSIR report found the presence of an average of 10.3 picograms (one-millionth of a gram) of TEQ (toxin equivalent) dioxin per cubic meter of atmosphere air. In 2019, around 72 miligrams of dioxin were released from Brahmapuram.