Sunday, October 21, 2007

To Kochi with love from US: rotten food and garbage

Bobby Jindal’s victory could be a gift for the Indian community there but Kochi could have done without a gift from the US. Three containers of waste from New York meant for a paper making company have been revealed to be nothing more than garbage.

Rotten food, glass and metal waste, computer remains, and even human faeces from New York were shipped halfway across the world to India. The three containers, containing 60 tons of waste, arrived at the Kochi port two weeks ago.

A local paper manufacturing company, Cochin Cadalas, had entered into a deal with the New York municipality to import waste paper. But when the state government heard about the kind of waste being shipped, it decided to step in.

Ernakulam District Collector, Mohammed Haneesh says, “As soon as we came to know about this we went in for a thorough examination of all the three containers and we found it to be filled with waste. The pollution control board and customs have taken serious note of this and we have decided to send this back.”

The government says it will take action against Cochin Cadalas for importing the waste without confirming its nature. Ecologists say such consignments could seriously damage the environment.

Activist Paulose Malari says, “This paper factory which has imported this waste is located very close to Kadampariyar river. Already that place is under stress due to the arrival of smart city. Now if such incidents continue, the eco-system of the place will collapse in no time.”

Sources at the Kochi port say the incident isn't new, and 15 similar containers were sent back from Kochi last year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Government doctors in Kerala to intensify stir

Defying government's request to call of the 11-day-old non-cooperation protest, Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) on Thursday said doctors across the state would intensify the stir if their charter of demands, including a pay revision, was not met soon.

"There is no question of going back on our protest. It is upto the government to redress our grievances and solve the crisis," KGMOA district president M Muralidharan told reporters here.

Stating that the doctors should not be blamed if their agitation created hardship to economically backward people who were solely dependent on the health service, he said the onus fell on the government for forcing them to go on protest.

The striking doctors would observe a fast on November 1 in Thiruvananthapuram and the future course of action would be chalked out at KGMOA'S state council meet on November 4, he said.

Muralidharan said the association was, however, confident that the government would not continue to turn a blind eye to the issue.

Stating that the government was showing "undue delay" in meeting their demands, he said, "for more than an year now, the government has been making assurances but not fulfilling them thereby forcing us to take on the agitation path."

Assuring to look into their demands, Health Minister P K Sreemathi had earlier urged the doctors to withdraw their agitation. After the doctors began their non-cooperation stir, the government had threatened of appropriate action against those not attending field work, Sabarimala and VIP duties.