Following protests, the civic body will dump garbage on a 25-acre stretch away from residential areas

The Chennai Corporation will soon extend the existing dumping area of Kodungaiyur dumpyard to a 25-acre stretch. This is part of its measures to cope with pollution caused by burning of garbage after residents in the vicinity staged a road-roko. The residents had been aggravated by the continued pollution caused by the burning. The additional area will be used following a direction by Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy to consider utilising the land on the premises for dumping on a temporary basis. The Mayor, who inspected the dumpyard, also assured the residents that the corporation will take efforts towards remediation and closure of the dumpyard soon.

Currently, 100 acres of the 269-acre plot in Kodungaiyur is used to dump garbage.

The civic body on Saturday scrambled to find a solution to the problem after the residents’ protest. According to sources in the Fire and Rescue Services, four fire tenders and personnel struggled for more than 24 hours to put out the fire in the portion of the dumpyard near residential settlements.

As the access to the central part of the dumpyard has been blocked because of huge mounds of garbage, the personnel were unable to put out the fire.

The civic body is planning to construct approach roads for fire tenders in case such emergency situations occur.

The civic body will also commence a study to facilitate construction of additional roads for dumping of garbage in the unused interior of the dumpyard. At least 1.5 km of such new road could pave the way for lorries to dump the municipal solid waste a bit away from the affected localities.

As of now, most of the waste is being dumped near the entrance of the dumpyard on account of the lack of approach roads. The dumping has also been restricted to around 100 acres based on suggestions made by a team of pollution-control experts. The experts also suggested construction of a concrete wall around the waste mount to prevent pollution of the water in adjoining localities.

However, certain other experts are no convinced. “Expanding the landfill is not the solution. What needs to begin is source segregation and decentralisation of the waste management,” said Sweta Narayan, environmentalist and researcher.

The civic body has taken a step to expand the dumping area only as a temporary measure. The dumping of municipal solid waste will be stopped completely in Kodungaiyur after the final decision on alternative sites for setting up solid waste management plants, said Mayor Saidai S.Duraisamy.

Residents of the locality hoped that the decision to dump waste in the new stretch would bring some relief to them.

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