A fire that broke out at the garbage dumping yard in Chitlapakkam, spread to the office of the Integrated Child Development Services nearby. Though no one was hurt, a lot of furniture and records were destroyed on Friday morning.

Around 12 tonnes of garbage is generated within Chitlapakkam Town Panchayat limits and is dumped on the margins of the Chitlapakkam Lake. The dump yard is surrounded by the Government High School, police station, community hall, and offices of the local body the health sub-centre and the Child Development Project Office ICDS, St. Thomas Mount Block.  

Smoke, caused by minor fires, keeps billowing from the garbage heap throughout the day and visibility levels are often very poor.

Between 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m on Friday, aided by the strong winds, the fire raged and spread to the office of ICDS. 

Stationery, records of staff and beneficiaries of the various programmes, and computers were gutted.

N.C. Krishnan, Chairman of St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union and R. Mohan, Chairman of the town panchayat, visited the spot. Mr. Krishnan told reporters that the records would be temporarily stored elsewhere and they would try to provide for a permanent office for ICDS away from the dumping yard.

Staff from the project office of ICDS is in charge of maintaining children’s centres in all the 15 villages of St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union in addition to some of the urban local bodies.

Further, they carry out awareness programmes among young women on personal hygiene and a nutritious, balanced diet.

The office of ICDS was moved to its present location in 2010 and staff have suffered due to its proximity to the dump yard.

Despite playing a crucial role in the welfare of women and children, the staff have not even been provided a proper office , said Vishranthi George, a Tambaram resident. 

Keywords: Garbage fire

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