Residents in Kochi, India, affected after big fire at the Brahmapuram waste plant


Even a week after a big fire at the Brahmapuram waste plant in India Kerala’s port city Kochi and neighbouring areas are covered by toxic fumes. At least 30 teams of firefighters and navy choppers were involved in trying to put out the fire. The residents have been advised to stay indoors and wear N-95 masks if stepping out. They are reporting health issues complaining breathing difficulties, dry cough and dry eyes. The smoke generated by the fire was also causing nausea and dizziness among the firefighters. Schools have been shut. Brahmapuram waste treatment plant carries out three major works, bio-mining of legacy waste, windrow composting of daily waste, and plastic waste segregation. The fire was completely doused, but the garbage continued to smolder.


The Kerala High Court has slammed the Kochi municipal body, saying the city has become a gas chamber. The city police has launched an investigation into the fire. Such incidents of fire happen almost every year around this time due to the extreme heat. Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, VD Satheesan, on Wednesday urged the state government to declare a health emergency in areas around the Brahampuram waste disposal plant. Ernakulam District Collector Renu Raj had given a timeframe and had said on Tuesday that the spreading smoke would be controlled in two days. The Kochi Corporation was recently fined Rs. 1.8 crore by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board for violating the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.