Madurai

Thangachimadam residents demand closure of ice plant

Communist Party of India members at the Ramanathapuram Collectorate on Monday.   | Photo Credit: L. Balachandar

Raising objection to ice plants coming up in Thangachimadam panchayat and Rameswaram municipal areas, residents of these areas submitted a petition to Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao here on Monday.

R. Manikannan of the Communist Party of India, said about 5,000 people depended on farming such as raising coconut plantations, flowers and plantains for their livelihood in this region. There was a small water source for them. When the residents approached the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court praying for a direction to close down the illegally functioning ice plants, the court ordered in their favour stating that the Coastal Regulation Act should not be violated.

But the Rameswaram municipality had issued a no-objection certificate (NoC) to set up a new ice plant here. Already, areas such as Satya Nagar, Ariyankaadu and Thenkuda were full of garbage, mainly plastic waste. When the residents urged the municipal officials not to use the open spaces for dumping plastic waste, they said that new ice plant would help solve the issue. Again, when the residents cited a court order that no ice plant or drilling activities shall be carried out within a five km radius, the officials did not have a proper reply.

The workers engaged in setting up the ice plant unit were working round-the-clock and soon it may start functioning. This should be stopped.

Moreover, the Collector must direct the municipal authorities to stop dumping the waste, especially plastic waste, in the low-lying areas, because during the rainy season, there was a stench in the air and the residents feared health complications. During this COVID-19 pandemic times, when the district administration had been appealing to keep the surroundings clean, the municipal and panchayat officials themselves were neglecting the diktat, the petition read.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 4:57:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/thangachimadam-residents-demand-closure-of-ice-plant/article32837113.ece

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