KOCHI: As many as 30 fire tenders, two Navy helicopters and over 120 fire force personnel among others on Monday continued to battle the fire at the Brahmapuram waste plant here from where toxic smoke has spread across the city and neighbouring areas.
Even though the fire appears to be extinguished, huge amounts of smoke was still rising from the waste mound.
The Kakkanad, Aroor and Vytilla regions of the city appeared to be hazy during the day.
District authorities said each of the fire tenders was using approximately 40,000 litres of water each to put out the smoke.
The authorities have pressed into use six excavators to pick the waste and pump water underneath.
They also said that water is being taken from the nearby Kadamprayar river with the help of floating earth-moving equipment and powerful machines are being used to extinguish smoke by flooding the entire area which is under fire.
The Navy helicopter, Seaking, collected water from a nearby reservoir and poured it over the smoke-filled waste plant site which has been ravaged by fire.
Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission has directed the state Chief Secretary, Ernakulam District Collector and others to submit a report on the action taken to permanently solve the smoke issues from the fire at the plant.
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Anganwadis, kindergartens, day care centres and classes 1 to 7 of government aided, unaided, CBSE and ICSE schools located in Kochi city and neighbouring gram panchayats and municipalities remained closed on Monday.
According to the data on the Kerala Pollution Control Board website, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulates' level in the air in Kochi were above the prescribed standards.
The level of PM 2.5, tiny particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter that can enter deep into the lungs and even the bloodstream, was found to be 79.7 ug/m3, at around 1:45 PM today, as against the normal standard of 60.PM 10, particles with diameter less than 10 micrometres, level were recorded at 119.6 as against a normal of 100.
The fire broke out in the waste dumped at the plant on Thursday.
Officials had maintained that such incidents happen every year around this time due to the extreme heat. (AIR NEWS)