Garbage dumped for second time in Panchapur ; Tiruchi civic body calls it a temporary move

With the smouldering embers of last week’s wild fire at the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation garbage dump at Ariyamangalam still giving sleepless nights to residents of the area, those in Panchapur on the other end of the city are turning increasingly restive as the civic body has started dumping garbage in their locality over the past few days.

The corporation has been dumping a portion of the garbage collected from the city near its sewage treatment farm at Panchapur off Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway. Although sources in the corporation say it is only a temporary move, residents of Panchapur feel uneasy and are apprehensive that the civic body could make it a regular practice.

This is the second time in eight months that the civic body has taken recourse to dumping garbage at the site. Local people complain of squalor and poor sanitary conditions in the Panchapur area owing to the presence of the sewage treatment farm. Sewage from the farm overflows into adjacent areas.

“Residents are opposed to dumping garbage in the area and I have already raised the issue at the council when garbage was dumped here a few months ago. There are a few educational institutions right in front of the farm and people are opposed to the move. However, officials have assured me that it is only a temporary move,” said N. Kathiravan, councillor representing the area.

The residents’ fear does not seem to be unfounded, given the problems faced by the corporation in solid waste management, especially the repeated fires at its Ariyamangalam garbage dump and the civic body’s recent decision to set up a second bio manure manufacturing unit at Panchapur. But Corporation Commissioner V. P. Thandapani sought to allay the fears saying that the civic body has diverted a portion of the garbage collected from the city to Panchapur as the corporation vehicles faced problems in entering the garbage dump at Ariyamangalam in view of the fire.

This will be stopped once about five acres of land at Ariyamangalam is retrieved after compacting a portion of the accumulated garbage at the dump.

Mr. Thandapani said the corporation had drawn up plans to tackle the problem of solid waste disposal at Ariyamangalam garbage dump, though it would take a few months to reach the implementation stage.

Already, a consultant had submitted a feasibility report for a project, which envisaged a three-pronged strategy, including bio-capping of the accumulated garbage and establishment of a bio-reactor. The project could cost about Rs. 20 crore and it would take off soon with the government approval.

No crude dumping

There would be no crude or open dumping of garbage at Panchapur and the second bio-manufacturing unit would not get any non-biodegradable solid wastes. The civic body has also launched source segregation of solid wastes at 116 places on a trial basis and it will be extended to other parts of the city soon.

Referring to frequent fires at Ariyamangalam, Mr. Thandapani expressed suspicion of sabotage by some anti-social elements. The civic body would soon appoint ex-servicemen as watch and ward staff to mount a vigil against such incidents in future.