Huge piles of plastic bags dumped on the wayside welcome visitors to Cheranelloor panchayat. Mounds of waste can be found in all prime spots in the panchayat.

One such place is the stretch beside Chittoor bridge. About 300 metres ahead is Divine Nagar colony, the site of another growing heap of waste.

Residents of the panchayat have blamed the panchayat of not taking measures to ensure management of waste.

Jayshree Austin, president of Divine Nagar Residents’ Association, said they could not find a solution to the accumulation of waste without the support of the panchayat and the police.

Two bags of stale meat were dumped in one of the vacant plots in Divine Nagar on Monday evening.

Residents had to shirk away from the compound because of the nauseating smell emanating from it. The ward councillor and the police arrived at the spot and supervised the cleaning-up.

“We raised the issue in the grama sabha and repeatedly requested panchayat office-bearers to erect banners at the site,” Ms. Austin said.

A team of volunteers from a private hospital in the area cleaned up the plot as part of a cleanliness drive. However, the very next day garbage packets started appearing again, she said.

Thresia Thomas, ward councillor and standing committee chairperson (welfare), said the panchayat did not have a dumping yard. She also held the residents responsible for their lax attitude and heaping garbage in street corners.

However, Ms. Thomas admitted that the panchayat had failed to take any measures to check the menace.

Incidentally, waste is dumped near a bridge connecting Chittoor to Edayekunnam, where the panchayat office is located. However, nothing has been done so far.

“The panchayat has provided biogas plants through the Suchitwa Mission programme. Every year about 10 to 15 such plants are set up,” said panchayat president K. K. Suresh Babu.

But, no follow-up is done to ensure the plants are working. A resident told The Hindu that they had set up a biogas plant about five years ago, but it was not working for the past one year.

As they had space in their compound to dispose of organic waste, the faulty biogas plant was not a big problem, the resident said. The panchayat has undertaken scant measures to make the residents aware of ways to maintain the biogas plants.

Mr. Suresh Babu said he had asked the ward councillors to launch a cleanliness drive. A meeting has been planned in the coming weeks to tackle the menace, he said.

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