53 acres are now used as a dumping yard for wastes of all kind

The long list of complaints the residents of localities in Ward 44 of the Coimbatore Corporation have appears to be never ending like the carriages of a goods train. And most of those have to do with the railways.

The Southern Railway has 53 acres on the western side of the road that connects Sanganoor Road with Nallampalayam Road and that is the source of the problem. The land houses garbage, waste from poultries and meat shops, and construction debris. With its thorny shrubs its serves as an ideal haven for drinkers, smokers, and petty thieves.

S. Jesu, a resident of Sabari Gardens, says that after weekend sales on Sundays, poultries and meat stalls dump waste on the land. This has become a regular occurrence and the worst affected are the residents of Sabari Garden, Shreyas Layout, and a host of localities in Ward 44.

The problem does not stop with that. Scavenger birds that circle the sky above the land looking for meat pieces, drop the waste at houses in the locality. This troubles the residents to no end.

In the evenings, aided by the poor street lighting, petty thieves and chain snatchers are at work on the road. Residents, especially women, find it difficult to venture out or return home from work, complains C.P. Subramaniam, another resident.

Resident P. Natarajan says that all their problems will come to an end if the railways were to construct a compound wall. This one measure will prevent people from dumping debris and waste and will also deter anti-social elements from entering the premises.

Mr. Jesu reasons that the railways should not mind the cost of construction of compound wall because, the cost of not constructing it will be higher. He explains that as and when the railways wants to use the land, the expenditure it will incur for cleaning the land of shrubs, waste, and debris will be higher.

The next of the residents’ grievance has to do with the Coimbatore Corporation. They say that the road is supposed to be a scheme road with 60 ft width but it is not. A number of small and medium industries have encroached upon the road.

The worst is at the northern and southern end of the road – the places where the road touches Nallampalayam Road and Sanganoor Road respectively, says resident N. Balasubramanian.

The Corporation should remove the encroachments to facilitate smooth flow of traffic, he says and explains that there is a urgent need to do so because the road serves as an alternative pathway to Mettupalayam Road.

The residents took up their problem with P.R. Natarajan, MP, and Venthamarai Balu, Ward 44 Councillor.

Mr. Natarajan says that he has written to the Southern Railway General Manager A.K. Mittal in this regard. He says that he has also told the Manager that though the issue was taken to the Railway Minister’s notice, no action has thus far been taken.

He says the railways must do something to not only protect its land but also put an end to misuse of its premises.

Mr. Balu says that he will take up the matter with the officials to have the encroachments removed.

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