Watch towers to be built and surveillance cameras installed to prevent sabotage and fires at the Ariyamangalam garbage dump.

The Tiruchirapalli City Corporation will soon build watch towers and install surveillance cameras and fire hydrants at its Ariyamangalam garbage dump to prevent fire.

These were some of the important decisions arrived at a consultative meeting between senior officers of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Fire and Rescue Services and the corporation here on Saturday.

The meeting was convened in the wake of the series of recent fires at the garbage dump, which has triggered a public outcry. A few days ago, a group of residents of Ariyamangalam area observed a fast demanding the shifting of the dump as it was becoming a health hazard.

“We discussed steps that need to be taken to prevent fires and also the site development work to be taken at the dump yard,” Corporation Commissioner V.P. Thandapani told The Hindu after the meeting.

The corporation, he said, had begun the work on construction of three watch towers at the dump. Efforts were on to put in place a system and trained manpower for fighting fires at the initial stages and for preventing entry of unauthorised persons into the dump as the civic body suspected sabotage could be a possible cause for the recent fires.

“We have decided to raise the height of the compound wall around the garbage dump. Garbage has been cleared for about 35 feet from the compound wall so that vehicles can go around the dump. We have decided to lay a blacktopped road around the compound wall for free movement of vehicles. Besides, the accumulated garbage will be segregated into smaller mounds with moving space in-between to facilitate free movement of vehicles in case of fires,” Mr. Thandapani said.

Borewells would be sunk in different parts of the over 40-acre dump yard and fire hydrants installed. The Fire and Rescue Service would train a team of corporation workers in basic fire fighting so that minor fires could be put out by them. A water tanker would be kept as a standby at the disposal of the staff at the dump. The Fire and Rescue Service had suggested the construction of a sump with a capacity of one lakh litres. This was under consideration.

Meanwhile, a proposal for bio-capping of the accumulated garbage had been firmed up but the source of funding was yet to be identified. Steps had been taken to gradually reduce dumping of mixed garbage at the dump as the civic body was gradually going for source segregation of degradable and non-degradable solid wastes.

The meeting discussed the proposal for establishing a second bio-fertilizer manufacturing unit in the city at Panchapur. The one at Ariyamangalam would shortly step up its handling capacity from 100 to 300 tonnes a day, Mr. Thandapani added.