Fire has been raging at the Alandur dumping yard at Pallikaranai for the last two days putting the residents of the locality at high risk.

Thick smoke emanating from the dumping yard has engulfed Pallikaranai and neighbouring areas. On Saturday, a motorist rammed a truck due to poor visibility and sustained injuries. “I find it very difficult to drive through this stretch and keep stopping the vehicle due to reduced visibility and breathing difficulty,” said Raja Manickam who frequently travels via Pallikaranai.

Some people have begun to vacate their houses unable to tolerate the foul smell. A software engineer said, “I'm going to shift from Pallikaranai to Shollinganallur soon because fire in the dumping yard could be a recurring problem. There have been instances of fire before this, but it has always been ignored. Since it is serious this time, authorities have taken note of it.”

Traffic was disrupted on Sunday as the police blocked the Velachery-Madipakkam junction from 9 a.m to 7 p.m to prevent accidents.

Water crisis has escalated in apartment complexes in the locality due to the fire. “Since we never get water from the Corporation we have been forced to buy water for years now. As the road is blocked, the tankers that supply water to our flats have stopped coming. The Corporation sends numerous tankers to douse the fire but we don't have water even to bathe,” said 72-year-old resident V.R. Raja Raghavan.

Highly placed sources in the corporation said that measures have been taken to solve this problem in the next three months. A corporation official told The Hindu that there were attempts to set the garbage on fire and security had been beefed up in the dumping yard to thwart such efforts. So far, about 5-6 fire tenders and nearly 50 water tankers have been sent to put out the fire in the dumping yard, spread over 15 acres.

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