Chennai

Garbage makes an exit, sewage continues to flow in

Residents’ groups focussed on protecting Sembakkam lake gear up for the second phase of the struggle

Desolation can be disconcerting. In rare contexts, it can be comforting. The erstwhile site of a dump that had been offensively plonked in the Sembakkam lake area, is now stalked by desolation.

A bovine somnolence is hanging in the air — literally, as cows can be found grazing on the site that was cleared of huge mound of “legacy waste” by a bio-mining exercise carried out nearly two years ago.

The mounds of garbage may have gone, but sewage inflows into the lake continue to mar the picture.

Sri Sarvamangala Nagar Residents Association in Chitlapakkam had filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal, drawing attention to the scourge of sewage being clandestinely let into the lake.

“There are 22 inlets through which sewage is being let into Sembakkam lake. In what is a shot in the arm for the campaign to protect the lake, on February 7 this year, the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal issued a directive that a joint committee comprising the district collector and representatives of related departments, which would include the Public Works Department and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, be formed. It also directed that the local bodies around the Sembakkam lake should also be represented in this joint committee, which should find out how sewage is being let into the lake and initiate action that will put an end to the problem,” says K. Ramakrishna, committee member, Sri Sarvamangala Nagar Residents Association.

M. Ravi, secretary, Sri Sarvamangala Nagar Residents Association , says, “The fact that UGD work is yet to be fully completed in a section of the Pallavarm bordering the Sembakkam lake may be contributing to the problem.”

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:17:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/garbage-makes-an-exit-sewage-continues-to-flow-in/article30829300.ece

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