April 18 2012
The Deccan Chronicle
Over 4 lakh residents in Kodungaiyur are vulnerable to lung haemorrhage and pulmonary oedema (fluid accumulation in the air spaces of the lungs). The US environment protection agency, which tested the air samples at Kodungaiyur at the request of the residents, stated that 19 chemicals were identified in the air in the neighbourhood. The carcinogenic chemicals were found 50 times above safe levels. The report was released by Perambur MLA A. Soundararajan (CPM) along with residents associations from Kodungaiyur in the city on Tuesday. According to the report, while high levels of chemicals can immediately cause irritation of the respiratory tract, prolonged exposure can cause severe heart problems. Residents said they have sent 36 complaints by fax and e-mail to various agencies, including the Chennai corporation, Tamil Nadu pollution control board and Union ministry of environment, about burning waste in the dump yard. But they have not received any response. “Dumping of waste in Kodungaiyur is an insult to the residents. Chief minister J. Jayalalithaa admitted that Chennai resembles a dump yard and that she would take action to make the city clean. But, so far, no attempts have been made to do so,” said Mr Soundararajan. While the government is busy teaching children not to litter in public places, it fails to set an example by keeping Chennai clean. “This is similar to the devil quoting the scriptures,” he said. Pandurangan of Kaviarasu Kannadasan nagar pointed out that the corporation has failed to adhere to the order of the Madras high court. “The high court ordered the corporation to stop burning waste. Even TNPCB didn’t bother to take action against the violators,” he lamented. He added that after the corporation limits were extended, the officials have failed to improve waste management.