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State Government to seek dumping ground from Cantonment Board

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FOR ALTERNATIVE USE: The 15-acre piece of land used as a dumping ground by the St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram Cantonment Board.
FOR ALTERNATIVE USE: The 15-acre piece of land used as a dumping ground by the St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram Cantonment Board.

K. Manikandan

Land behind Jain College being used by Board for long

TAMBARAM: The State government will approach the Ministry of Defence to part with 15 acres used as a dumping ground by the St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram Cantonment Board.

The land is behind A.M. Jain College and has been used by the Cantonment Board for long.

While Cantonment Board officials said they were yet to receive a formal proposal, they agreed they, too, were looking for alternative sites, including Venkatamangalam, where an integrated compost yard is coming up.

The Venkatamangalam project was mooted for the Alandur, Pallavaram and Tambaram municipalities.

A few months ago, Alandur pulled out of it. Alandur municipal officials cited the fairly long distance as one of the reasons and it was announced at a meeting of the municipal council that the local body would take the lead in setting up a similar project for Alandur and other adjoining urban and rural bodies at Kaarapakkam on Old Mamallapuram Road.

Senior officials of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply said even the Airports Authority of India had objected to the location of the dumping ground less than a km from the airport’s periphery.

The purpose of acquiring this land is yet to be finalised. Officials, however, said it could be handed over to the Alandur municipality for development works.

Cantonment Board officials said they too had approached the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply, which had agreed, in principle, to include it in the Venkatamangalam project.

They said the population of the local body, which includes Defence establishments, was close to 45,000, and 10 tonnes of garbage was generated every day.

And it had only one area for disposing of the garbage.

Objections from residents

Residents of Balakrishnapuram and nearby areas of the Alandur municipality have for long been complaining about the problems caused by this dumping yard. It also served as a hideout for anti-social elements. Burning of garbage only added to the problems, the residents said.

Officials admitted that the project involved certain procedures relating to acquisition of alternative land. If they were to get this land from the Defence Ministry, they would have to hand over, in exchange, 30 acres. Identifying an alternate site would not be a problem.

They were aware of the delay in acquiring land from the Defence Ministry. Even Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R.Baalu, who is also South Chennai MP, has recently written to Defence Minister A.K. Anthony, urging him to expedite the process of handing over land to complete the bridge and subway projects in Pallavaram, Pazhavanthangal and Meenambakkam.

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