Kochi chokes for fresh air

A poisonous cloud has blanketed Kochi leaving the residents choking and confined to their homes. If anyone thought Sunday lockdown had become a thing of the past, Kochi was in for a shock as they were asked to stay indoors. Piles of unsegregated garbage accumulated over years at the waste treatment facility at Brahmapuram caught fire and have been smouldering for weeks. Thick smoke filled with toxic gases emanate from the burning mounds and have enveloped the city.

The issue has posed burning questions on the lapses in waste management. The health authorities are grappling with respiratory concerns and a much graver issue. Rotten waste heaps dumped by the road sides could lead to an epidemic outbreak, they dread. It could be the last thing a city would need after it has barely recovered from the debilitating effects of the pandemic.

Touted as the business Capital of Kerala, Kochi has been plagued by a host of issues. It was not until recently that a group of residents came out in protests as the taps went dry and water scarcity severely affected normal lives of people in Kochi. Even as authorities swing into action and engage in damage control, a permanent solution in waste management could be a farfetched one. In the meantime, the people in Kochi can only hope for the embers to die down and save themselves from the toxicity that has filled the air.