Garbage-burning, haphazard waste disposal choke waterways in Aavarampalayam

May 31, 2023 06:31 pm | Updated 11:22 pm IST - COIMBATORE

The choking Sanganoor Pallam and stormwater drains in Aavarampalayam act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and home for stray dogs, say local people of Ward 28 in the city. Adding to the haphazard dumping of waste, pollution from burning garbage is also common in the ward, allege residents.

The ward with nearly 16,000 residents, (as per the 2017 record of the Coimbatore Corporation), also accommodates several eateries, bakeries, factories and furniture shops.

The open stormwater drain and a portion of the Aavarampalayam Road, close to Ambal Nagar, borders Ward 20 (Ganapathy) and is located opposite a temple, and near a private kids’ playschool and the Corporation Middle school.

P. Senthilkumar (53), a worker in a motor-manufacturing company for grinders in Ambal Nagar, said that the daily waste from the factories, including a steel bar factory in the area, was burnt in an empty ground behind the establishments.

“The vehicles to collect degradable and non-degradable waste usually visit the ward once in two days. We do not know the timings of the conservancy workers for door-to-door collection. So, paper, plastic or other small items are burnt in the open land belonging to the owners of these factories. We also burn the bushes. Pollution from this is not very high,” he said.

A. Vetri (38), a resident refuting the allegations, said, “They don’t burn the waste, but only the bushes. They dump it in the open near the stormwater drain. We do not dump it on roads, we burn the fodder waste fed to our cattle.”

“Mainly, food waste is strewn here. Adding to this, there are close to 15 meat shops in Aavarampalayam and Ganapathy, owners of which dispose of their waste in the open, which attracts stray dogs. These animals attack motorists that pass by. Two motorists fell into the storm water culvert passage last week while diverting the vehicles from hitting the stray dogs. Moreover, garbage from the Sanganoor Pallam flows to this drain during rains or excess flow. All these together are a breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

R. Priyanka (27), a resident in Prashanthi Nagar, said the litter piled up near the Sanganoor Pallam, the stream that flows between Ward 28 and 48, is choked with garbage. “Open defecation is rampant close to this water body. Garbage piles, apart from the daily waste, have been there for over a year now,” she added.

Ayyavu (51), a conservancy worker who collects waste from 253 houses for 15 years, said, “People of gated communities and the common residents do not segregate the waste. So, when workers refuse to take the unsegregated waste, they dump it in the open. People with vehicles dump them near Prashanthi Nagar, even after the Corporation placed boards stating that it was a clean zone with surveillance cameras fitted and illegal dumping will entail fines. Vehicles collect the haphazardly thrown litter at 4 a.m. But the waste gets piled up again by 10 a.m.”

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