Gudalur Municipality in Coimbatore proceeds with waste processing facility works near forest boundary despite Forest Dept’s objection

May 31, 2023 08:05 pm | Updated 08:05 pm IST - COIMBATORE

The site for the waste processing facility of the Gudalur Municipality close to a reserve forest in Coimbatore district.

The site for the waste processing facility of the Gudalur Municipality close to a reserve forest in Coimbatore district. | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

The Gudalur Municipality in Coimbatore district is carrying out works for a waste processing facility close to a reserve forest area despite strong objection raised by the Forest Department.

In a letter sent to the Commissioner of the Municipality last year, the forest range officer of the Periyanaickenpalayam forest range had stated that waste brought to the facility will attract wild animals, besides escalating negative interactions between humans and wild elephants.

As per the letter, the land identified for the waste processing facility at survey no. 865/1 is situated 430 metres from the boundary of Thadagam reserve forest falling under Naickenpalayam beat of the Periyanaickenpalayam forest range. The area also falls under the purview of the Hill Area Conservation Authority (HACA). The land is frequented by wild animals such as deer, wild boar, gaur and elephant. Even if fences or protective walls are erected for the facility, movement of wild animals could not be prevented, the letter said.

The department also pointed out that fire, if occurred in the facility, may cause forest fire, endangering the forest and wild animals. Citing that the facility will have an adverse impact on the wildlife, the department suggested that the civic body find an alternative location.

Farmers in the locality had also opposed the waste processing centre, citing possible air and water pollution. They submitted petitions to the District Collector and the Forest Department opposing the facility in April last year.

“Several petitions have been given to authorities on behalf of the farmers opposing the waste processing facility. Though a petition was filed with the municipality under the Right to Information Act two months ago, to check whether permissions were obtained from the HACA, the Town and Country Planning and the Pollution Control Board for the facility, no reply has been received,” alleged T. Nandakumar, a farmer from the locality.

According to the municipality, the 3.75 acres of land at the location will be used for setting up a micro compost centre where biodegradable waste also would be treated. The facility, for which the government allotted ₹96 lakh, will have two micro composting units, each of four tonnes capacity.

“The municipality is collecting waste by segregating them at source level. Plastic waste processed at the Resource Recovery Centre is sold to cement companies. The new facility is for converting biodegradable waste into manure. It will be a closed facility with ventilation, causing no pollution to the air or to the groundwater,” said K. Balraj, Commissioner of Karamadai Municipality, in-charge of Gudalur, and added that the civic body had replied to the Forest Department’s letter.

District Forest Officer N. Jayaraj said the department raised the objection as the location is very close to the reserve forest and could have an adverse impact on the wildlife.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.