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Hazardous wastes pile up along road sides

S. Ramesh
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No action taken; residents of nearby colonies express concern

The mindless dumping of hazardous effluents and tannery chemical waste on the sides of Sathy main road abutting residential colonies and agricultural fields continues right under the nose of officials in the district administration and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

Hundreds of bags of sludge are being dumped on both sides of the road by unknown persons from the textile processing and tannery units, posing serious danger to the environment and agriculture.

Warning

A few months ago, the district administration issued stern warning, which forced the miscreants to stop the dumping.

Now they have resumed the dumping in full swing as officials concerned have once again become inactive on this issue, a senior citizen allege.

The activity has been going on, on the sly, for years intermittently in different parts of the district, especially on Sathy main road.

Almost all the senior officials in the district administration and the TNPCB travel via Sathy main road every day.

“We wonder why no official is taking notice of the bags of sludge lying on the roadsides. We are also regularly complaining with the TNPCB officials about this. But no one seems to bother about protecting the environment and helping people,” R. Ashokan, a teacher who travels on Sathy road every day, says.

The environmental laws in the country clearly state the importance of safe disposal of sludge.

Officials in TNPCB, district administration and persons in the managements of industrial units are well aware of those laws.

But almost all the units violate the environmental laws and contribute to the growing pollution levels in Erode district, environmental activists lamented.

Challenges

The agriculture sector in the district is already facing huge challenges due to indifferent discharge of thousands of gallons of untreated and treated effluents in the water carrying channels, causing irreversible damage to the fragile environment.

Farmers are worried that the dumping of sludge will increase the pollution levels on their fertile fields.

Residents of nearby colonies express serious concern over the lurking danger the hazardous substance will pose to their health.

People and farmers in the area urge the district administration to remove the sludge bags immediately and initiate stern action against those who dump the sludge on the roadsides.

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