A truck carrying nearly six tonnes of waste was seized near the Corporation compost yard at Vellalore near here on Wednesday. The waste was said to be transported from Kerala. A case has been registered at the Podanur Police Station and the driver, Appusamy, a resident of Salem, has been arrested.
The Tamil Nadu-registered vehicle had gone from Salem carrying goods to Angamaly, located around 40km from Kochi, where it was loaded with waste from the canteen of the Nedumbaserry airport.
The truck had come to Vellalore on Tuesday midnight, said K.S. Mohan, Secretary of Kuruchi Vellalore Pollution Prevention Action Committee.
The committee was formed by the residents 10 years ago to seek the relocation of the compost yard at Vellalore, as fire and the resultant smoke in the yard had been troubling them for long besides the menace of flies swarming the area.
The security personnel of the yard refused to allow the vehicle to enter the premises as it lacked authorisation from the civic body officials certifying it to be part of the fleet of vehicles involved in solid waste management project.
Sensing trouble the truck driver fled the scene, Mr. Mohan said. Troubled over a vehicle travelling more than 200km and crossing a State border to dump waste, he said they alerted Corporation officials and police and had the vehicle seized.
“While the top layers look like canteen waste, we suspect there may be hazardous or biomedical waste in the layers beneath. Only strong action would deter similar attempts in the future,” he said.
A Corporation official said that a police complaint was lodged following instructions from Corporation Commissioner G. Latha, who has taken a strong view against such attempts.
Meanwhile, Mayor S.M. Velusamy exhorted the police to display “zero tolerance” towards Coimbatore being treated as a backyard of Kerala for dumping waste and sought the police to prosecute the driver besides seizure of the vehicle.
He also sought the active role of the police in preventing dumping of debris and waste along the water body.
Police officials said that Sections 269 (negligent act like to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 294 (b) (obscene act in public place) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) besides 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of IPC have been invoked.