Villagers suspicious of the motives of municipal officials and staff
A team of health officials and staff of Anakapalle Municipality came to the plot of land very near Achayyapeta village on Saturday morning and started collecting medical waste among the garbage that was dumped by the municipality on March 22.
However, the villagers, suspecting that the municipality was planning to do something at the place, objected to the arrival of the municipal officials and staff at the site which was under dispute, and an interim stay on dumping of garbage from Anakapalle was in force. The villagers said the act of municipality would amount to contempt of court.
Incidentally, the Anakapalle Municipality acted a day after The Hindu carried a report that children of the village were playing with the used syringes, needles and other medical waste found among the garbage.
In a rejoinder sent on Friday, the Municipal Commissioner claimed that there was no possibility of children picking up the used syringes, etc. from the garbage since medical waste was not dumped by hospitals and nursing homes in municipal sanitary vehicles.
The villagers said that the municipal staff that came to the village informed them that they were sent by the Municipal Commissioner to remove the medical waste. The villagers then called the media representatives from Anakapalle. Health Inspector P. Nageswara Rao and Sanitary Inspector B. Venkata Rama Rao were also present. The villagers also collected the names of the employees. Later the municipal staff, along with a vehicle that they brought, left the village.
General secretary of AP Vyavasaya Vrittidarula Union P.S. Ajay Kumar said the Municipal Commissioner sent his staff to remove the medical waste after the report appeared in The Hindu.
The municipality was violating all norms, including the High Court orders, he said and demanded immediate action.
CPI(M) leader Balakrishna alleged that the Commissioner was repeating mistakes using his staff as scapegoats.
Later when reporters of Anakapalle contacted him, Municipal Commissioner of Anakapalle S. Muralidhara Rao said that he had sent his staff to Achayyapeta at the instructions of the Collector to remove the medical waste from the garbage.
On Friday, Mr. Muralidhara Rao in a rejoinder said that after the municipality told the hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, labs to deal their hospital waste separately as per the Solid Waste Management Rules 2000 they were using the services of Maridi agency.
He claimed that the school children of Achayyapeta were not playing with syringes.
The Commissioner also said that the land for the proposed compost yard was a konda poramboke and not an agricultural land and that no notified ayacut depending on the streams from the nearby hillocks existed.