Corporation rules out Pachapur being made a dump as it is too close to airport

Reflecting the growing public resentment over the successive wildfires at the Ariyamangalam garbage dump yard this summer, councillors cutting across party lines have demanded an immediate halt to dumping more garbage at the facility.

However, Corporation Commissioner V.P. Thandapani said this would not be feasible immediately, at least until necessary infrastructure were created at an alternative site. Solid waste could not be dumped in the open at the Panchapur sewage farm given its proximity to the city airport. The civic body, he said, intended to stop dumping solid wastes at Ariyamangalam within six to 12 months.

The issue found its echo at the Corporation Council on Thursday amidst a campaign launched by residents of wards 7, 28, and 29 demanding the shifting of the garbage dump.

With some persons distributing pamphlets highlighting the residents’ demands outside the council hall, the issue dominated the discussions during the zero hour of an ordinary meeting of the Corporation council. Mayor A. Jaya and Mr.Thandapani insisted that the civic body had initiated a series of measures to contain the problem.

Raising the issue, M. Anbazhagan, former Deputy Mayor of the DMK, wanted to know whether the corporation had identified an alternative site and demanded that the civic body immediately suspend dumping more garbage at the dump. (On an average, about 400 tonnes of solid waste collected from the city is dumped at the yard every day.) S. Ravishankar, AIADMK councillor representing ward 28, called upon the officials to table a “white paper” on the action taken on the issue while S. Kayalvizhi of ward 29 pleaded for decisive steps to end the menace. His party colleague and Ariyamangalam zone chairman, J. Srinivasan, too favoured suspension of dumping of garbage at the yard and suggested that the Panchapur sewage farm could be used for the purpose.

The Mayor said the corporation had taken steps to build watch towers, install surveillance cameras, and post additional manpower to tighten vigil.

Responding to the concerns expressed by the councillors, Mr. Thandapani said an expert committee formed by the government had given a report and steps were under way to implement a plan to create a park after bio-capping of the accumulated garbage in about 20 acres at the over 45-acre yard.

The corporation has decided to set up a dry resource centre for every three wards where solid wastes would be segregated into degradable and non-degradable wastes.

Bio manure would be produced from degradable wastes and bio-energy to power lamps locally. This would help reduce the quantum of garbage sent to the dump yard. Steps had been taken to set up a second bio-fertiliser manufacturing unit at Panchapur. “This is a four decades old problem and cannot be overcome overnight. We are trying to solve it,” he said.