A week after a large fire broke out at a waste management facility in the city’s Brahmapuram neighborhood, Kochi, Kerala, was reduced to a gas chamber.
Kochi, Kerala, has become a “gas chamber” a week after a large fire broke out at a garbage management facility in the city’s Brahmapuram neighborhood. On the second day, firefighters were able to put out the fire, but the region was still covered in long columns of heavy, black smoke.
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Life has become hell
Residents have reported breathing issues as a result of the smoke from burnt plastic, metal, and other items drifting towards urban colonies. Many people have complained of the throat and ocular burning.
The Kerala government has urged citizens to always wear an N95 mask when venturing outside. Till things settle down, people have been requested to refrain from going for outdoor runs. An operational control room is put up by the district medical officer. All educational institutions in Kochi and some in the nearby Ernakulam have been closed.
The scenario in Kochi is comparable to a COVID-19 lockdown. Few individuals can be seen traveling on the roads. Those observed outside are disguised. The aged and children are not leaving the house.
A minimum of 50,000 tonnes of trash burned. According to fire department representatives, they have been able to comprise the smoke coming from 70% of the affected region. The residing 30%, where burning plastic waste is a crucial issue, is being worked on to fully discard smoke.
“When the fire first began, we weren’t too badly affected. Once the fire had died down, the huge, dense smoke made it extremely challenging for us. Even my home was filled with smog today. My dormitory roommates had to wear masks to bed the night before. They were moaning about smoke and odor, said Liz Biju, a college student who attends a school just one kilometer from the waste management facility, to NDTV on Wednesday. Her home is also close by.
The fire, which has sparked sizable mounds of trash including plastic, metal, and rubber, and released toxic smoke, has been put out by at least 30 teams of firemen and naval helicopters.
“I urge the officials to take appropriate action. Liz Biju said, “We can’t be living like this.
The only significant centralized solid waste handling facility in Kerala’s 14 districts is Brahmapuram in Kochi.
The Kochi municipal corporation has come under fire from the Kerala High Court for turning the city into a smoke chamber. It asked for a report on the fire’s source as well as a plan of action. According to the municipal organization, the fire’s origin is still under investigation.
After a fire started on March 2 at the Brahmapuram landfill, the fire spread. The region has been covered in toxic smog. The lives of individuals have been a living hell for more than 8 days. Also affected by this poisonous smog is Ernakulam. People have been compelled to stay inside their homes in the regions of Kadavanthara, Vytila, Maradu, and Panampalli. The Kerala government urged residents of Brahmapuram and the surrounding areas to remain inside and close their windows and doors because the air quality there is deteriorating at an alarming rate.
Indian Air Force on Duty
The Indian Air Force has dispatched a Mi 17 V5 helicopter to assist in putting out the fire at the Brahmapuram waste processing facility. Six shuttles headed into the affected region, and 10,800 liters of water were dropped from a nearby reservoir, according to Indian Air Force authorities. The Air Force Station Sulur owned the aircraft.
Colleges and Schools have been closed
As a safety measure, the Ernakulam district government has mandated the closure of educational facilities like schools and colleges. A holiday has been proclaimed in Kochi Corporation, Vadavucode-Puthencruz Gram Panchayat, Kizhakkambalam Gram Panchayat, Kunnathunad Gram Panchayat, Thrikkakkara Municipality, Thrippunithura Municipality, and Maradu Municipality, in addition to other local governments. Anganwadis, kindergartens, daycare facilities, government, aided and unaided, CBSE, and ICSE institutions will all be able to take advantage of the holiday. The SSLC and Higher Secondary Examinations will continue to be open to the public.