Initiative by Poonamallee municipality aimed at stopping illegal waste dumping

The Poonamallee municipality has decided to join hands with NGOs and industries and develop a green belt along Chennai Bypass to stop illegal dumping of waste on the sides of the road.

The decision follows complaints from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that had written to the municipality demanding action against those dumping garbage along the service lanes of the bypass. In response, the municipality recently held a meeting with representatives of NGOs, industries and various government agencies to find a solution.

Sources in the NHAI said garbage was being dumped along several stretches of the 32-km-long elevated, access-controlled road from Tambaram to Madhavaram. This would affect the flow of rainwater and result in flooding of the service lanes. “The concessionaire has even taken photographs of several vehicles dumping garbage. The space adjacent to the service lane might not have a structure on it right now but it belongs to the NHAI,” said an official.

The problem of garbage dumping is not confined to the bypass; the Chennai-Bangalore Highway too was similarly affected, the official added.

Municipal commissioner B.V. Surendra Sha said, “The four-km stretch between Saveetha University and BSNL office will be beautified. We plan to plant saplings and have sought the help of industries to take up the beautification as a CSR initiative,” he said.

Bins would also be provided in consultation with the NHAI. The municipality also plans to appoint a consultant to study the existing system of solid waste disposal in its 21 wards and provide solutions for solid waste management. “We also plan to provide street illumination along the arterial road following a consultation with the NHAI,” Mr. Sha said. The development of the green belt is expected to be completed in two or three months.

At present, Poonamallee municipality generates 25-30 metric tonnes of garbage every day. Lack of a dedicated dumping yard and proper garbage collection system in residential areas has led to waste being dumped along road margins and on vacant plots of land.

G. Murugan, a resident of Senneerkuppam, said residents too had been protesting the dumping of garbage along the road. “A lot of dogs scourge the garbage. They also run on the main road, causing accidents. The stench is unbearable. Despite several representations to the NHAI and the municipality, no action has been taken,” he said.

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