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Fire continues at garbage yard

Special Correspondent
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With no water source nearby, fire tenders battling it out

No let up:Fire raging for the second successive day at Ramaiyanpatti garbage dumping yard near Tirunelveli.
No let up:Fire raging for the second successive day at Ramaiyanpatti garbage dumping yard near Tirunelveli.

The Ramaiyanpatti residents’ ordeal continues for the second day on Sunday as the fire that broke out in the Corporation’s garbage dumping yard on Saturday is yet to be doused despite the best attempts by the fire brigade.

According to an estimate, 150 tonnes of garbage is generated in the Corporation limits daily. However, the short-staffed Corporation can remove around 135 tonnes of waste and transport it to the Ramaiyanpatti garbage dumping yard lying on a sprawling land on the Tirunelveli-Sankarankoil highway.

The yard, a breeding ground for houseflies, gives a nauseating experience to those residing nearby when drizzle drenches the degradable and non-degradable waste. Whenever fire breaks out in summer, the smoke with an unbearable stench billows from the garbage.

After the residents started protesting against the dumping of garbage and took the matter to the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, the civic body, having been left with no other option, had to look for a permanent solution — solid waste management programme.

Even as steps are on to execute this plan either to generate electricity or organic manure, the fire that broke out in the garbage dumping yard has set off a series of problems for the people living nearby.

“Either a piece of glass or a discarded lens or a carelessly thrown cigarette might have triggered the fire. We’re trying to control the fire within the shortest possible time. A permanent solution will be the execution of a reliable solid waste management programme. Or else, we’ll have to face not only the wrath of the public, but also the Court’s anger,” said a senior Corporation official.

Though five fire tenders from four stations in the district have been pressed into service, the fire fighters can only control the flame from spreading further the area is so vast and the wind keeps the embers aflame. “As no water source is situated nearby, we’ve to travel some distance to fetch water and douse the flames. This delay makes the task all the more difficult,” said one of the fire fighters, who toil hard in adverse conditions.

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