Merchants allege lack of garbage disposal system

The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday appointed two advocate commissioners to inspect a government complex occupied by wholesale traders of paddy, agricultural inputs and flowers near Mattuthavani bus stand here. They would examine facilities available there for disposal of garbage and suggest suitable measures if the existing waste disposal system was found to be inadequate.

Justice K.K. Sasidharan made the appointments following a writ petition filed jointly by A. Vaithilingam, president of Madurai Flower Merchants and Commission Agents Association and 11 other members of the association. He ordered the two advocates, Mahaboob Athif and R. Meenakumari, to submit their inspection report by March 11.

The judge made clear that the Madurai Municipal Corporation Commissioner as well as the secretary of Madurai Market Committee should provide necessary assistance required for the advocate commissioners to measure the complex and prepare a detailed report indicating the location of the shops, garbage disposal yard and other relevant particulars.

While the writ petitioners were directed to pay a remuneration of Rs. 25,000 to one of the advocate commissioners, the Market Committee secretary was ordered to pay an equal amount to the other commissioner.

During arguments, petitioners’ counsel N. Dilip Kumar said that as per the original layout of the complex, 154 shops were earmarked for paddy merchants, 60 for those selling agricultural inputs and 100 for flower merchants. The layout contained provisions for vehicle parking, public amenities such as toilets, pathways and a garbage disposal yard.

Though tonnes of garbage was accumulated in the complex every day, there was no proper system in place to dispose the waste. The garbage bins were insufficient and some miscreants used a canal located between the market complex and the Madurai-Melur Highway for dumping their waste.

The garbage was also burnt at times causing serious environmental and health hazards.

Even as the occupants of the complex were struggling to cope up with the existing facilities, the Market Committee had suddenly decided to construct additional shops in the space earmarked for dumping garbage and hence the present writ petition.

However, responding to it, the Market Committee claimed that it would not be possible to dumb garbage at the earmarked area as it was situated very close to a high tension electricity cable.

After recording their submissions, the judge asked the advocate commissioners to find out if the garbage generated in the complex could be dumped in an alternative place.

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