P.R. Natarajan, MP, has written to Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi on the October 6 fire accident at the Coimbatore Corporation dump yard in Vellalore.

In the letter, copy of which was made available to The Hindu, he has said that Mr. Sarangi should hold discussions with the Secretary, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, and Secretary, Environment and Forest, to fix responsibility on officials for the incident.

Following the accident, the Fire and Rescue Services Department has put the blame on the Coimbatore Corporation for not containing the fire for more than 40 hours.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has recommended “suitable action” to its head office and not gone in for suo motu action in neither this nor any of the more than 40 fire accidents during previous occasions.

Mr. Natarajan has said that thick black smoke spread over 25 acres of residential colonies in the yard’s neighbourhood.

Fire fighters had to battle the flames for over 40 hours.

This fuelled anger and resentment among the residents against the Corporation officials.

They were forced to agitations to highlight their plight.

The media has reported that between May 2003 and April 2012, the dump yard has seen fire on 45 occasions and the Corporation has reported none of this to senior officials, he said and added that he had enclosed the media reports.

The Corporation has to process 750 tonnes to 800 tonnes waste a day.

The success of this largely depended on its ability to manage the waste by segregating it at source. Sadly, the Corporation had not been able to do this – the job of door-to-door collection of waste.

Investment

In view of the investment of around Rs. 100 crore into the project, he was of the opinion that close monitoring of the functioning of the scheme was necessary to avoid leakage of funds as well as effective implementation.

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