Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI (M)-led LDF opposition staged a walk-out from the Kerala Assembly on Monday charging the Congress-led UDF Government with "taking lightly" the serious health problems posed by ineffective garbage disposal.
Responding to the opposition`s notice seeking an adjournment on the issue, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government was aware of the gravity of the issue, but its solution required a political consensus and cooperation of the opposition.
The present situation was largely the result of resistance from local communities against setting up processing plants in most places, including the state capital, Chandy said.
He said government had adopted a three-pronged strategy to resolve the crisis. This comprised setting up of big plants based on suitable technology in six cities, provision of subsidies for smaller units to process waste at source and sorting and separation of plastic from garbage and conversion of plastic-free waste into compost.
Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan, however, held that the government was not showing sufficient seriousness on this grave issue affecting the health of all people and caused outbreak of various types of viral fevers, including dengue.
Earlier, replying to the adjournment notice by V Sivankutty (CPI-M) and others, Health Minister V S Sivakumar said a total of 7.14 lakh people had sought treatment for various types of fever in the last six months.
The Health Department had taken all preventive and curative steps and government hospitals across the state have been equipped to tackle the situation.
Urban Development Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali said the government had extended financial support to city corporations and municipalities to set up waste-processing units.
In this year`s budget, Rs 237 crore had been set apart for garbage disposal and processing. But the response from civic bodies had not been very positive so far, he said.