With the district administration and the City Corporation all set to move clay and machinery to the Vilappilsala waste treatment plant on Friday to complete the construction of the leachate unit there, the police are on their toes to ensure that the law and order situation is under control.
More than 2,000 policemen, nearly thrice the number that was deployed in the area in February, when the Corporation, backed by a High Court interim order, tried to transport waste to the plant, will be on duty to check any untoward incidents.
Policemen from stations up to Ernakulam and from police camps have been alerted and they will be deployed in the area from Thursday evening, when the prohibitory orders come into force. The orders will be in place till Friday midnight.
Thiruvananthapuram Rural SP A J Thomaskutty told Express that the agitators who try to obstruct movement of machinery will be arrested. “We have to act tough since the court has directed the authorities concerned to transport the machinery. The machinery will be moved to the plant from the Corporation premises at 8 am. The Rural police will take control of the security of the machinery from Kundamonkadavu bridge onwards which, until then, will be under the vigil of the city police. Those who try to obstruct movement of the machinery will be arrested,” he said.
The police intelligence wing has aired apprehensions over the agitation turning violent. According to sources in the Intelligence Department, over 10,000 agitators are expected to turn up for the protest.
Meanwhile, the Samyukta Samara Samithi leaders maintained that they would obstruct the movement of machinery by any means. An all-party meeting held on Wednesday evening too gave consent to block the movement of machinery to the plant.
“For us, it is a do-or-die situation. People are ready to sacrifice their lives to prevent reopening of the plant. People from nearby panchayats too will join the protest. We want the Government to close this plant for ever,” said Vilappil panchayat president S Shobhana Kumari.