KL This Week: Five Districts in the Danger Zone in KSDMA's Heat Wave Index, Sunburn Incidents Likely
Image: R Prakash
NewsClick brings a round-up of important happenings in Kerala, including the dump yard fire in Kochi, increasing heat waves across the state and fresh claims by Swapna Suresh in the gold smuggling case.
DUMPYARD FIRE ENGULFS PARTS OF KOCHI
The fire which broke out in the waste dump yard of Kochi corporation located on Brahmapuram has resulted in heavy smoke cover over the city and nearby areas. The attempts by the fire and rescue department and voluntary organisations to contain the fire have yielded relief.
The corporation and the government have claimed to have contained 80% of the fire in the dump yard owned and operated by the Kochi Corporation.
The residents continue to remain indoors; the district administration has advised residents to wear N95 masks and announced holidays for schools. However, several people have sought medical advice due to breathing-related issues. The High Court of Kerala has set up a panel to study the situation. The government has announced a health survey around the site to study the issues faced by the people.
The minister for industry, P Rajeev, and the minister for the local self-governance department, MB Rajesh, visited the plant. They discussed the efforts made to douse the fire and solutions to the frequent problem of dump yard fire faced by the corporation.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has announced to find solutions for the continuous issue through 'Waste to Energy' conversion.
HEAT WAVES ACROSS THE STATE
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) published the first heat index map for Kerala and placed Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Kozhikode under the danger zone. These districts are expected to experience sunburn incidents; a few parts of Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam are on high alert.
The agency has warned people to refrain from longer exposure to sunlight since the temperatures across several parts of the state are expected to stay between 45-54 degree Celsius.
Hilly districts of Idukki and Wayanad are relatively safe from heat waves, while Palakkad, which usually experiences high temperatures, is also safe.
CPI(M) RUBBISHES SWAPNA SURESH'S ALLEGATIONS
A prime accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, has come up with another allegation against Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] leaders. In a new revelation, she had alleged getting in contact with MV Govindan, the state secretary of the party, through a middleman offering Rs 30 crore.
However, even as the right-wing media celebrated this revelation, Vijesh Pillai denied knowing or contacting the CPI(M) leader and claimed he supports the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He also rejected any death threats, as claimed by Suresh.
During the People's Resistance Yatra across the state, Govindan dismissed the allegations as another attempt to steal the limelight.
"The people of Kerala have rejected all such foolish allegations by those who are accused in the case", he said.
PROTEST AGAINST TRIPURA VIOLENCE
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) held protests against the post-poll violence orchestrated by the BJP in Tripura.
In a statement, the CPI(M) accused the BJP of unleashing violence after losing 11 seats and suffering reduced vote share in the Assembly elections in Tripura.
DYFI state secretary VK Sanoj led a protest march in Ernakulam against the brutal attacks on the supporters and members of the CPI(M) and the Left Front.
DYFI protest march in Ernakulam against the post poll violence in Tripura.
The CITU state committee flayed the attack on the delegation of MPs from the left parties which visited the state. CITU Kerala Unit's general secretary Elamareem Kareem MP was a part of the delegation.
MUTHANGA TRIBALS RECEIVE LAND TITLES
The long wait for land rights of the tribals from Muthanga village in Wayanad district ended on March 7. With the government handing over land titles to 37 families, all 283 families who participated in the Muthanga Struggle in 2003 now possess the land.
In a program held in Sulthan Bathery, K Rajan, minister for revenue, handed over land titles to 1,203 beneficiaries.
The event was held as part of the 100 days program to mark the second anniversary of the LDF government's regime, to be observed on May 20.
SFI OPPOSE RIGHT-WING LEADER FROM ATTENDING CU PROGRAM
The Students Federation of India (SFI) picketed Gunta Laxman of the Akhil Bharatiya Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh (ABRSM) from attending a women's day program at Central University of Kerala (CUK) at Kasargod.
Though several faculty members had opposed the decision of the Vice-chancellor (VC) to invite a leader from the right-wing group to a Women's day program, the VC went ahead with the invitation.
The SFI cadres shouted slogans during the program in which the VC of Jawaharlal University (JNU), Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, was the chief guest.
The ABRSM claims to be 'an organisation imbued with Indianness to propagate the ideology of Cultural Nationalism in the field of education and society'.
The SFI condemned the CUK administration for inviting right-wing leaders to university programs and termed it part of the saffronisation agenda.
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