Earlier, a fire at the yard spread to the ICDS centre, leaving furniture and records charred

The Chitlapakkam garbage dump yard is one more case of a lake being misused. Ever since it was turned into a dump yard, it has posed serious health hazards. In its vicinity are found a government high school and a middle school, a community hall, a health sub-centre, a child development project office and a police station. The irony of a health centre near a garbage dump yard can’t be lost on anyone.

The dump yard is also known to cause accidents. The constant burning that takes place there sometimes, result in fires. In November, 2012, a fire at the yard spread to the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centre, leaving furniture and records charred. And then, the smoke billowing out of the garbage yard blurs the vision of motorists driving down the main road nearby.

A. Shankar, a resident in his seventies, recalled the good old days spent on the banks of a cleaner Chitlapakkam lake.

His reminiscence was interrupted by a violent bout of coughing which he attributed to fumes from the yard. He is not alone; many other residents are afflicted with lung-related problems.

This is not surprising. A resident said garbage from 15,000 households and sewage from 1,500 commercial establishments on GST Road make their way into the lake.