Staff Reporter

Tries in vain to convince villagers to allow usage of three abandoned quarries

Villagers sceptical about scientific land filling technique of the corporation

They suggest another quarry located a little far away from villages

VIJAYAWADA: A delegation led by Mayor Mallika Begum visited the dumping yards at Pathapadu village near here on Monday and examined the possibility of converting three abandoned quarries located near the village into dumping yards for municipal solid waste.

Deputy Mayor Samanthapudi Narasaraju, Floor leaders in the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) general body P. Gowtham Reddy (CPI), Yerubothu Ramana (TDP), corporators Mahadevu Appaji, Abdul Khader and others interacted with the some of the members of Pathapadu panchayat.

Apprehension

Pathapadu ward members D. Omkara Reddy, Bukya Balaji and B. Yedukondalu told Ms. Begum that they had objections to the dumping of municipal solid waste at the abandoned quarries that were close to Pathapadu, Mangalapuram, Sitaramapuram, Apparaopeta and Venkatapuram villages. “More than 400 families in Venkatapuram village would have to suffer if the municipal refuse is dumped here,” said D. Kiran Reddy, a farmer.

Mr. Narasaraju, Mr. Gowtham Reddy and others, however, tried to convince them saying that the VMC would follow a scientific land filling process. They said that the villagers would not face any problems, including any possible pollution of groundwater, as the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) would take all necessary precautions.

“The VMC will spread polythene sheets at the bottom of the quarry before dumping the waste. Polythene would prevent seepage of leachate components and other fluids that pollute groundwater,” said Mr. Narasaraju. But the villagers were apparently sceptical about the scientific land filling technique. “The VMC officials made similar promises earlier too. But, it was never implemented during the last one year,” said Mr. Balaji. The panchayat members said that the VMC could, instead, use another quarry located a little far away from the villages. “We have no objection if the VMC dumps its municipal refuse on the other side of the hillock,” they said, adding that “the villagers will doubt our credentials if we agree for creation of a dumping yard near our village.” Following a request from the villagers, the delegation also looked at the possibility of using another quarry that was still in use.

Plea to Mayor

Later, the panchayat members urged the Mayor to come out with a concrete proposal which has a “concurrence of every political party” in the VMC general body. Chief Medical Officer of Health M. Satyanarayana Raju and others were present.