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Brahmapuram Fire: Pinarayi Vijayan Lists What Govt Did As Kochi Choked, Orders Probe

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan finally addressed the Brahmapuram waste plant fire in the Assembly on Wednesday. The CM has also ordered an STF probe.

Brahmapuram fire

Image: SOuther Naval Command, Twitter - PTI

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered a special task force-led investigation into the Brahmapuram fire, he told the Assembly on Wednesday, March 15. The vigilance team will probe how the plant ran from the day it started operations. Pinarayi Vijayan also listed what the Kerala government had done as the waste plant in Kochi's Brahmapuram caught fire and continued to burn for 12 days straight. Vijayan said the fire was doused by the joint effort of multiple agencies and the Navy and Air Force were called in to aid the process. 

As Vijayan rose to address the Assembly over the Brahmapuram fire, opposition members in staged a walkout. Opposition MLAs also staged a protest outside the Kerala Assembly Speaker's office claiming that there rights were not being protected. They also alleged manhandling by security guards at the legislature complex. 

What will the special task force probe? 

The Kerala CM, speaking on the Brahmpuram fire, said the STF will probe if the waste management plant managed its waste in an unscientific manner. The probe will focus on: 

  • Whether the site was appropriate for a waste management facility

  • Did Kochi Municipal Corporation properly monitor work at Brahmapuram 

  • Were there defects pointed out in the work of the waste management plant 

Additionally, the special task force will also probe why waste from other local bodies under the Kochi Municipal Corporation were dumped at the Brahmapuram plant as well as the degree of implementation in the bioremediation process and the performance evaluation criteria of contractors.  

How Kerala doused a major fire 

The fire was extinguished after an effort was undertaken on a war footing by multiple agencies. The services of the Indian Navy and Air Force were employed. The help of the IAF was sought on March 7.

The state health emergency department also worked on a mission mode to help people facing health-related issues due to the toxic emissions from the blaze. 

The Kerala High Court took suo moto action in the incident and filed a petition asking for information from the relevant government agencies. The opposition UDF also staged a walkout in the assembly on March 14 in a bid to put pressure on the Chief Minister to issue a statement on the Brahmapuram fire.

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