Five fire tenders and 12 water tankers engaged; reisdents of Podanur, Kurichi to take up the issue

For the second day on Sunday, the Coimbatore Corporation continued its battle against the raging fire at the Vellalore dump yard by pressing into service more fire tenders and water tankers. It also had to battle anger from residents of the localities near the yard.

The Corporation sources said that the fire that started on Saturday evening continued to spread to the area where the rejects were stored to be dumped in landfill. The Corporation had stored more than 50,000 tonnes rejects – waste that could not be processed and only be closed in a landfill.

To control the fire, the Corporation, with help from the Fire and Rescue Services Department, had deployed five fire tenders and 12 water tankers, which, by Sunday afternoon, had made more than 100 trips. It had also deployed a bulldozer to spread sand on the burning waste to cut oxygen supply to control the fire.

The sources said that they were confident of putting out the fire by late Sunday night or Monday.

Meanwhile, the residents complained that they were troubled by the fire and smoke on Saturday. They also blocked the Vellalore Road to convey their protest. The police and the Corporation officials had a tough time pacifying the residents.

A few residents also moved out of their houses to friends’ places to stay over for a night. S. Kannusamy of Konavaikalpalayam said that he took away his family members to a friend’s place as the smoke was thick and the odour unbearable.

He also said that many residents were also troubled by the power cut.

Podanur residents said that they could spot the flames that soared into the sky from as far as two kilometres. “The sky was bright and red.”

Lawyer N. Rabindranath said that residents of Podanur, Kurichi had decided to take up the issue at the appropriate level. They, like other tax-paying residents, had a right to a clean, pollution-free environment, and that it was unfair of the Corporation to dump the entire city’s waste at Vellalore.

Let the Corporation create more dump yards so that waste from a locality did not travel beyond its limits. This way the Corporation would also get to save on fuel by avoiding transporting waste.

He wanted the Corporation to address the issue by paying utmost attention as the residents were not ready to suffer any longer.

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