Mayor, Commissioner ask contractor to run it at the earliest

More than a year has passed ever since the Corporation planned to commission the waste processing unit set up at Vellaikkal garbage dumping ward to produce organic manure.

But, the inordinate delay in full-fledged working of the unit has left huge investment made on it lying idle, even as the Corporation was finding it difficult to contain the smoke emanating from the garbage which was polluting the surroundings. Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa and Corporation Commissioner R. Nanthagopal, who inspected the unit on Monday, were annoyed since they felt that no appreciable progress had been made ever since their last inspection to make the unit run.

They ordered City Engineer (in charge) A. Madhuram to issue clear cut instructions to the contractor to meet all the requirements on employing adequate manpower and procuring necessary things for commissioning the unit in a time-bound manner. “The entire area should be kept clean and no outsider should be allowed into the dump yard to prevent fire lighted by rag pickers to extract metals from waste,” Mr. Chellappa said.

Madurai Corporation is generating over 400 tonnes of garbage every day which is being dumped in the Vellaikkal yard. The waste processing unit, set up under public-private partnership, is supposed to become operational by July, 2011. It was expected to segregate organic and inorganic waste through a series of mechanical processes before manufacturing organic manure.

The Corporation has set up the mechanical units with concrete drying yard. The unit is expected to reduce garbage used for land filling at the dumping yard through segregation. While the metals, plastic and rubber particles could be used for recycling, and organic waste would end up as manure, only the inorganic waste would go for land filling.

The Mayor and the officials also inspected the second land-filling pit getting readied at the dump yard. The Commissioner wanted the contractor to immediately take up the basic work of scientifically covering the ground at the land-filling pit to prevent groundwater pollution through seepage.

Mr. Nanthagopal warned that any entry by rag-pickers with the intention of taking away metals and plastics would be treated as trespassing and police action would be initiated against them. The rag-pickers were blamed for setting up the garbage on fire to extract the metals which often caused smoke.

The Mayor advised posting of security men to keep rag-pickers away.

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