THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Costford officials on Monday kept away from the controversial quarry in Vellar where the Corporation and the State Government planned to dump garbage after the local people assembled in large numbers to prevent their entry. Nearly 250 residents, including large numbers of women and children, gathered under the banner of the Kovalam Samudra Vattappara Samrakshana Samithy to prevent officials deputed by the Corporation from entering the five-acre government quarry. (Costford had been asked to clear pits in the quarry by pumping out water and filling porous areas to prevent water from entering).
The local people kept vigil till afternoon, and dispersed after having lunch together. However, they plan to take their case straight to the capital city, which they perceive as the source of the potential trouble.
On Tuesday, action council members led by local councillor Nedumom V Mohanan will meet Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali and Mayor K Chandrika to register their protest in person and request that the authorities drop the idea of transforming scenic Vellar region into a trash dump.
‘’We will try to press home three points; one, that the quarry in question is the source of potable water for the locality. Destroying this water source will leave the locality in big trouble. Two, this area is part of the tourism zone. Tourism will die out if it is turned into a trash dump, and three, dumping garbage into the quarry means the region would face all the problems associated with such places,’’ Nedumom V Mohanan said.
According to him, the quarry owned by the Government was five acres in area. Its value lies in the fact that it has a natural spring and is, therefore, a water source.
In the meantime, the Left-ruled Corporation is strategically remaining indecisive on the issue. Deputy Mayor G Happykumar said it was the Government’s duty to take a decision.
‘’We did not send any officials on Monday because there could have been trouble with the local people ganged up against garbage-dumping. But we will not say we have dropped the idea of using Vellar, because then the State Government will say we did it deliberately. The Government should take a decision,’’ Happykumar said.