Residents of Mylapore living just behind a popular mall – Chennai Citi Centre – have had to put up with the strong stench of rotting garbage for several days.
Garbage collected from various localities is generally dumped in an open site on Karuneeswarar Pagoda Street. This has been going on for over 15 years. Usually, the accumulated garbage from the site is taken away every day by trucks and disposed of at the Perungudi dumpyard. But for a few days now, the garbage has not been collected, leaving the area to drown in a foul odour.
P. Radhika, 32, who has lived in the area for decades, said, “The stench is so bad that we are finding it difficult to eat. It is so pervasive that sometimes, we prefer to go to bed hungry. I am also very worried about my children – they may develop infections from the rotting garbage as they play on the street here most of the time.”
Residents of the locality have protested several times, both for the removal of garbage on a regular basis and to stop disposal at the site. The problem, residents say, peaks during the monsoon season when rainwater mixes with the garbage and flows out.
S.K. Siva of the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front said, “Most people here are unable to do much about the situation. Several complaints have been made but no action has been taken as yet.” He added that there may be a protest if the garbage was not cleared at the earliest.
Councillor of the area, R. Bommi said that she has already informed Chennai Corporation officials as well as officials of Ramky Enviro Engineers, the private conservancy agency that has been contracted to operate in some zones of the city.
“When I went to check with the Ramky employees about this problem, not even half of them were here for work. I have taken all possible steps to ensure that this problem is resolved soon,” she said.
Some Corporation officials however, professed ignorance about the problem.