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Tambaram stinks with mounds of garbage

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Eyesore: An uncleared mound of garbage on 100 Feet Road near Camp Road Junction at Selaiyur.
Eyesore: An uncleared mound of garbage on 100 Feet Road near Camp Road Junction at Selaiyur.

K. Manikandan

“The municipality has failed to evolve good solid waste management models”

TAMBARAM: The collection and disposal of garbage generated in Tambaram has hit an all-time low with mounds of uncleared garbage in several places posing health hazard to the people living nearby, complained residents and councillors of Tambaram Municipality.

Unlike the two other big municipalities in the region, Alandur and Pallavaram, the daily generation of garbage in Tambaram is much higher, due to the presence of important markets catering for dozens of villages in the neighbourhood and the huge floating population that passes through rail and road.

With privatisation of waste management a couple of years ago, there had been a slight improvement initially, but the magnitude of the problem in terms of the volume generated assumed such proportions that the local body administration, particularly the Sanitary Section was unable to come up with initiatives to tackle it, councillors said.

During the routine meeting of the municipal council on Friday, councillors, cutting across party affiliations, came together and charged the local body administration with being slack and callous on this issue.

Nagoor Kani, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillor from Ward No. 7, said garbage clearing operations had come to a standstill during the festival season as employees of the private contractor went on leave for Deepavali.

Noting that he was not against granting leave for workers for the festival, he sought to know what alternative plans the Sanitary Section had taken during that period.

During the three or four days before and after Deepavali, garbage from the West Tambaram vegetable, fish, meat and poultry markets was not cleared.

The sight was repulsive to people even passing by that stretch, Mr. Nagoor Kani said. He also pointed out that the municipality had purchased three sophisticated compactor trucks at the cost of Rs.1.3 crore four months ago but they were lying idle inside the local body’s office premises. Councillors of other parties also joined in support, arguing that collection and disposal of garbage in Tambaram was never so poor as in the past few months.

Residents of East Tambaram and Selaiyur complained they experienced severe hardships during the recent heavy rains as water washed along with it piles of uncleared garbage that deposited outside their houses. Residents of Rajeswari Nagar said they removed plastic waste outside their houses with great difficulty.

Those living on Camp Road pointed out to the vast open space on 100 Feet Road that was used as a transit point for transporting garbage. A swarm of flies hovering above it, cattle feeding on the waste and garbage blowing into their houses along with the wind all combined to pose severe problems, a resident of Jayalakshmi Street said.

Officials in the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply said the problems would be solved permanently once the integrated, modern and scientific compost yard was completed in Venkatamangalam near Vandalur.

Members of civic groups said smaller urban and rural local bodies with lower levels of revenue were implementing source segregation and composting of waste, but Tambaram Municipality had miserably failed to come up with good solid waste management models.

The recently dedicated compost yard should be extended at least to those places where problems were severe.

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