Places earmarked across the city for contractors to dump debris

Thursday’s debris dumping incident throws the spotlight on the challenges the Coimbatore Corporation faces in tackling the indiscriminate dumping of the building waste. Environment activists on Thursday evening caught a tractor driver dumping debris along Valankulam.

The move comes even as the Corporation had earmarked places across the city for contractors to dump debris. This was in April this year. The Commissioner, G. Latha, had said that by giving contractors places to dump debris, the Corporation aimed at preventing their dumping debris along water bodies and thereby protect the water bodies.

After earmarking the places and informing the public about the same, the Corporation had a meeting with builders to seek their cooperation.

Not stopping with the move, Ms. Latha formed zone-level committees comprising zonal sanitary officers, assistant town planning officers, junior engineers and sanitary inspectors to ensure that contractors did not dump debris outside the earmarked places.

But in the past two months, the earmarked places did not get as much debris as they ought to.

The patronage has been average, says a source.

To improve the debris management system, Ms. Latha has now proposed a scheme wherein the civic body will partner the builders to collect debris at demolition sites, transport them for manufacturing blocks to be laid in pathways and gardens.

In this regard, Ms. Latha said she had talked to the builders’ association. The civic body would lease out a land on which the association could install the machinery required to manufacture the blocks.

Sources in the builders’ association confirmed the same and said they would take a decision after talking to the association office-bearers.

Ms. Latha said it would be a win-win situation for both the Corporation and builders because the civic body would be able to stop dumping of debris at water bodies and the association would get to utilise waste to manufacture and sell blocks.

Meanwhile, following Thursday’s incident, the Corporation lodged a complaint with the Ramanathapuram Police, who have registered cases under Sections 277 (fouling water of public spring or reservoir), 290 (punishment for public nuisance) and 430 (mischief by injury to works of irrigation or by wrongfully diverting water) of the Indian Penal Code.

The punishment under the sections varies from a few months to five years with or without fine.

Ms. Latha said that she planned to talk to Collector M. Karunagaran to convene a meeting involving Revenue Department and police officials as their help was required in tackling the debris dumping menace, for only those two had powers to act against offenders.

The Ramanathapuram Police said that they had arrested the tractor owner Velumani under the aforementioned three sections. They were on the lookout for the tractor driver.

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