11th Feb 2013
Smog from the dumpyard poses a risk to motorists on the popular Kodungaiyur road.
Photo credit: Deccan Chronicle
Chennai: Over 200 residents of Kannadasan Nagar on Sunday staged a road roko on Tondiarpet High Road for two hours protesting against burning of garbage in the Kodungaiyur dump yard. They complained that the entire area had been engulfed in a thick layer of smoke for the past week.
Ganesan Perumal, secretary, Ever Vigilant Citizens Welfare Association said that residents, mostly women and children, blocked the traffic for over two hours from 10.30 am as their complaint to the city corporation to stop burning garbage was not heeded. “Due to thick smoke, visibility on the road has become so poor one cannot see vehicles coming from the other side,” he said, adding that the residents withdraw the protest only after an assurance from the assistant police commissioner that a meeting with corporation officials would be arranged.
The residents are concerned that the dumping and burning of garbage near their homes is detrimental to their health and the environment. “Garbage from various parts of the city is dumped in our neighbourhood. We have been fighting against the problem for several years but the civic body is neither taking steps to close the dump yard nor prevent burning of garbage,” said R. Shanmugham, a resident of Kodungaiyur.
The residents have been campaigning for shifting of the site. Over one lakh people living in Kannadasan Nagar, Krishnamoorthy Nagar, Ezhil Nagar, Rajarathnam Nagar and other colonies on the fringe of the dumping ground are the worst affected.
While most municipalities across the country are striving to introduce good practices like composting, bio gas and decentralised waste management, the city corporation has failed to come up with any long-term solutions apart from a few hare brained schemes that only drain more public money without resolving the issue, said Dharmesh Shah of Community Environment Monitoring adding, “The only solution is to keep the organic waste out of the waste dump by diverting it to composting and biogas facilities. Not a single such facility exists in the city.”
When contacted, a corporation official said that steps were being taken to extinguish the fire.