Commercial activity leads to dumping of waste, residents ignore panchayat appeals to keep area clean
The link road connecting Old Mamallapuram Road in Kelambakkam and East Coast Road in Kovalam is a scenic stretch, with ‘uppalams'(salt pans) lining both sides, and visitors often getting a glimpse of water birds including cormorants, flamingos and even painted storks. However, the recent boom in commercial activity has seen the road becoming an eyesore, with garbage being frequently dumped on the margins of the road within the Kelambakkam Village Panchayat limits.
Residents of Kelambakkam point out that commercial activity has increased tremendously, and several private hostels, commercial complexes and shops have mushroomed all along OMR, especially between Sholinganallur and Tirupporur. Staff at Tirupporur Panchayat Union said the problem of solid waste management was a huge issue in all 50 village panchayats in the Union.
Improvement work was recently carried out on this link road, which is about four kilometres long. There has also been a considerable increase in traffic on the link road, especially with the increase in the number of bus services, says J. Raji, who runs a juice stall in Kelambakkam. The problem is especially severe in village panchayats that are close to the city limits. The absence of landfill sites, and the lack of manpower and necessary infrastructure to dispose of garbage have compounded the problem.
The Kelambakkam Village Panchayat has placed warning boards along the link road appealing to residents not to dump waste and to help the administration in making Kelambakkam clean and green. Yet, a section of residents continues to dump garbage at that very spot. Miscreants have also dumped hazardous waste on the road margins.