The fire broke out at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant on March 2 and the air quality in the port city has been deteriorating since then.
A fire service official expressed hope that the blaze can be completely extinguished by midnight
The Kerala government on Sunday said 95 per cent of the fire at the Brahmapuram waste treatment plant here has been extinguished and expects to douse the rest by midnight.
Ernakulam District Collector N S K Umesh visited the site which was engulfed with toxic smoke since March 2 and informed that there are chances of minor fire breakouts due to the presence of flammable fumes.
In a Facebook video, Umesh, who went to the waste plant along with Ernakulam Regional Fire Officer Sujith and Cochin Corporation Additional Secretary Shibu, said the smoke was arrested considerably with the coordinated efforts of the authorities.
“The fire department and corporation officials among others were working tirelessly for the past 10 days to contain the fire. We have almost completely extinguished the fire from sector six and seven inside the plant. There are chances for small ignitions in isolated places. The fire force officials and others are ready to deal with it,” Umesh said in a Facebook video.
A fire service official expressed hope that the blaze can be completely extinguished by midnight. “There’s only a small spot inside the plant with smouldering fire and we now plan to direct all the excavators and fire tenders in that one location and douse it by tonight,” the official pointed out.
Currently, 200 firefighters, 18 excavator operators, 68 civil defence members, 55 city corporation officials, 48 Home Guards, five personnel from Navy, two from BPCL, three from CIAL and four from the Revenue department are working continuously.
There is a medical team also in position, the district authority said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the education institutions including professional colleges will remain closed till March 15 even though the Air Quality Index (AQI) has improved.
The Health department said it will launch mobile medical units in Kochi and adjacent regions from tomorrow to provide treatment to those in need.
The Ernakulam district administration and the State Disaster Management Authority held an online discussion on the fire situation with the New York Fire Safety Department Deputy Chief George Healy, on Sunday morning.
The government had announced an action plan to be implemented on a war footing to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the state.
Under the 82-days-long action plan, stringent measures would be taken for the source-level management of biodegradable waste and for the door-to-door collection of non-biodegradable waste in the state.
According to local body officials, such incidents of fire happen every year around this time due to the extreme heat.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)