BJP demands CBI probe into Kochi landfill fire

A fire at a waste processing unit in Kochi raged on for nearly two weeks this month, prompting the BJP to accuse the Kerala government of bending rules to hand over the contract to a company which is allegedly responsible for lapses leading to the fire. Blaming the Kerala government for the incident because of the absence of any waste management plan, the BJP has demanded a CBI probe into the matter. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Prakash Javadekar, who is the in-charge of his party’s affairs in the state, alleged the involvement of the son-in-law of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan besides the sons-in-law of a former Left Democratic Front (LDF) and a Congress leader in the “monumental” corruption which caused the man-made disaster recently. “There are three sons-in-law, two companies and a big scam. The LDF and the UDF have come together in looting Kerala,” he said, claiming that the companies assigned to deal with waste management in the city are linked to the kin of politicians. Javadekar said that the Left is in power in Kerala, and the Congress is the main opposition party. Both are now together in looting the state. He noted that the landfill caught fire on March 2 and it continued for nearly 15 days, leading to medical complications for a large number of people as thousands were forced to leave the smoke filled area. He stated that “Goa and Indore have been among the best examples of managing waste and turning it into wealth. But the Kerala government never tried to do anything in this regard”. He claimed, “In Kochi, there is no plant, no processing, no machinery but only expenditure. When various teams including from the Central Pollution Control Board and other organisations visited Kerala and studied the site, they found no waste processing plant, no waste bio-mining plant but just a dilapidated compost structure.”