Panel decides that the site in the village is not suitable for establishing a municipal waste dumping yard

People of Achayyapeta and surrounding villages under Sundarayyapeta gram panchayat near Anakapalle scored a victory when a committee constituted by the Collector decided that the site in the village is not suitable for establishing a municipal waste dumping yard under the Municipal Solid Waste (management and handling) Rules.

The villagers are vehemently opposing the Anakapalle Municipality’s plan to shift the municipal compost yard from the town to the village since the gram panchayat had not made a resolution to allow the dumping yard in the village and even the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) had not cleared the proposal. It may be recalled that the municipal authorities used police force to dump the garbage in the village on March 22 and when the villagers resisted several of them were taken into custody and finally cases were booked against 20 of them. They were later released on bail.

The villagers obtained an interim stay on March 26 on dumping the garbage. They were more scared about the garbage when the village children started playing with medical waste like used injection syringes and IV fluid tubes. On April 15, the team consisting of officials from different State and Central government departments inspected the proposed site, at the request of the APCCB.

General secretary of AP Vyayasaya Vrittidarula Union and State co-convenor of NAPM P.S. Ajay Kumar, who is supporting the villagers and one of those arrested, obtained the details of the committee’s report from the APPCB through the Right to Information Act some days ago.

Majority of the members were of the opinion that the garbage yard should not be allowed at the village while others’ observations appeared to be not relevant to the issue. Their report pointed out that the proposed dumping yard is just 300 meters from the village and a temple is coming up 250 meters away.

A professor of civil engineering of Andhra University S. Bala Prasad pointed out cashew and other plantations are adjacent to the proposed dumping yard and a stream is passing through the dumping yard area which also charges a pond downstream. He said that if the solid waste is dumped here the surrounding areas and ground water would get contaminated and even creation of a buffer zone might not be possible as the surrounding area is under horticulture and used for livelihood purpose.

Deputy Director of Ground Water Department found that the proposed site is the recharge area for the wells on the downstream side and a dumping yard on this site might contaminate the water.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police of Anakapalle said there would be law and order problem and the narrow roads in the village would also pose traffic problem if the dumping yard is allowed.

Deputy Director of Department of Town and Country Planning said the approach road to the dumping yard must be 40 feet wide to allow the heavy vehicles bringing the garbage and that no habitation should be allowed on either side of the road. He also did not find a public park around the proposed site.

The Forest Range Officer said the proposed area is not covered by Reserve Forest; Field Officer of Archaeological Department found the area was not archeologically important and an officer from the Naval Air Station INS Dega that controls air traffic of Visakhapatnam said the proposed yard is far away from the airport.

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