A playground in Highways Colony in ward no. 35 has turned a garbage dump posing a health hazard to the residents.

A major portion of the garbage is polythene waste materials and carry bags besides tyres and coconut shells. Non-clearance of non-degradable waste materials by the civic body has resulted in mosquito menace.

A number of goats, cows and pigs are also seen in the area compounding the problem. Although a garbage bin was provided at the playground it did more harm than good.

A cluster of residential areas is located in the neighbouring ward no. 33 and many of them adopt their own garbage disposal system.

“About 30 hand carts with garbage reached the playground daily to dump garbage in the bin. The bin was often overflowing with stinking smell,” says R. Gopalakrishnan, a local resident.

The bin was removed in July this year.

P. Kavitha and Lakshmi, both residents of Indira Gandhi Nagar I, say that the area witnessed maximum environmental pollution during the month of ‘Adi’ due to strong winds.

“Polythene waste materials were found scattered forcing some residents to burn them,” they said.

Thick growth of vegetation and thorny bushes was yet another problem. Many residents incur a personal expenditure to clear the bushes.

K. Suguna, a teacher, says that parents do not allow their wards to use the playground although boys used to practise cricket a few years ago.

The residents say ward no. 35 had its major segment in the airport area with adequate strength of sanitary workers.

Though the colony formed part of the ward, it was quite far away from the airport area.

“The colony remains an abandoned area as far as civic facilities are concerned,” they say, urging the need for periodical clearance of garbage.

Meanwhile, the non-utilisation of the playground has come in handy for the police department to park a number of condemned vehicles.

“As part of arrangements for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Pudukottai district recently, the condemned vehicles from the police department were towed from the Jail Corner area on the Pudukottai Road and shifted to the ground. The vehicles are being taken back in a phase manner now,” the residents point out.