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Salem Corporation resumes garbage dumping at compost yard

S.P. Saravanan
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Solid waste treatment plant hit by erratic power supply

Garbage dumping resumes:Vehicles lining up at Erumapalayam compost yard in Salem to unload garbage collected from all over the city. -PHOTO: P.GOUTHAM
Garbage dumping resumes:Vehicles lining up at Erumapalayam compost yard in Salem to unload garbage collected from all over the city. -PHOTO: P.GOUTHAM

In spite of stiff opposition from local residents, City Municipal Corporation has once again resorted to dumping of garbage in Erumapalayam compost yard and in parts of Suramangalam due to erratic power supply at the Solid Waste Treatment Plant at Chettichavadi, on the outskirts of the city.

Though the plant, operated by a private company, has a capacity to process 300 MT solid waste everyday, they receive only 100 tonnes of garbage from the civic body as the plant could be operated for only about five to seven hours a day due to erratic power supply.

The rest of about 200 tonne garbage was dumped in the compost yard and set on fire, causing air pollution.

Residents in Kitchipalayam and nearby areas complain that thick black smoke emanating from the yard is causing health issues and children and elderly people are getting affected.

“Our protest against dumping yields no results as tractors carrying garbage keep pouring through out the day,” said a resident in the area.

Around three lakh metric tonnes of solid waste was dumped in the 14-acre yard at Erumapalayam for over 50 years, resulting in the mounting garbage rising to a height of about 20 feet.

However, Corporation officials said that they had no other option to dispose of the garbage collected every day from 60 wards, as the plant could not be fully operational.

“We have suggested to the company to produce power from their products’ output,” said Commissioner M. Ashokan.

Recently, residents in a few areas in the region also blocked the tractors carrying garbage, to protest against the dumping. But over 50 vehicles continue to dump the garbage at the yard.

Mayor S. Soundappan told The Hindu that electricity board had already been requested to provide uninterrupted supply to the plant so that it becomes fully operational.

“The situation may continue for another two months and until then dumping in yards would continue,” he added.

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