‘No serious health issues from Brahmapuram fire,’ says Pinarayi; Oppn MLAs lay siege to Speaker’s chamber

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Thiruvanathapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday broke his silence on the Brahmapuram waste dump yard fire 13 days after the mishap occurred.

He told Assembly that a special committee would investigate the cause of the Brahmapuram fire and the disaster preparedness of the plant.

“A special action plan will be drafted and squads will be formed to ensure that such incidents don’t recur in the future. A ministerial-level meet will be convened on a weekly basis to ensure proper waste management,” Pinarayi said.

He also added that no serious health issues were encountered by residents due to the Brahmapuram fire. The Chief Minister did not respond to the allegations on Zonta Infratech, the company contracted to run the waste management facility.

Pinarayi had maintained a stoic silence on the matter even as the opposition parties, mainly Congress, repeatedly demanded his comments.

The other day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya sought a report on the 12-day episode in Ernakulam that spewed toxic fumes into Kochi city and it suburbs.

The chief minister’s response was read out under rule 300 of the procedure and conduct in the Kerala Legislative Assembly. The rule states that “no questions shall be asked at the time the statement is made”.

A massive fire, which broke out at the solid waste treatment at Brahmapuram in Kochi on March 2, has left Kerala’s Ernakulam district gasping for breath with toxic fumes. Bio-mining firm Zonta Infratech, responsible for segregating the legacy waste at the 110-acre waste dump, is being blamed for the fire and the irresponsible waste management at the plant.

The fire was doused on Thursday, 12 days after it broke out. 

Oppn MLAs lay siege to Speaker’s chamber during Assembly session. Photo: Special arrangement

Opposition protest against Speaker

Meanwhile, the Opposition walk out of the session ahead of the CM’s response.

In an unusual protest, the opposition MLAs besieged the Speaker’s office. The legislators also clashed with the watch and ward members.

Speaker A N Shamseer entered the office during the agiatation. 

The Congress has alleged that MLA Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan was assaulted by watch and ward during the agitation. The Speaker’s refusal to entertain adjournment motion on women safety led to the agitation.

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