The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) intends to write other departments, including the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB), Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board (CMWSSB), and Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL), to address the issue of open dumping in their respective vacant lands. This is to prevent such areas from becoming breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes.
The move came after Corporation Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan recently inspected a vacant site at a housing board in Pattinapakkam in south Chennai and instructed local authorities to clear debris and garbage from it.
According to Chief Engineer N. Mahesan, the GCC had retrieved 20 acres of land belonging to the TNUHDB near the Foreshore Estate earlier this month after clearing the debris. He told The Hindu, “The accumulation of rainwater in such garbage dumps creates a favourable environment for dengue mosquitoes to breed. The civic body is taking steps to process waste using micro-composting units (MCCs) and bio-CNG processes. However, stakeholders must also play an active role in controlling open dumping. Proper source segregation is still lacking.”
He said the designated location to dump construction and debris waste for each zone is available on the [GCC] website, which can be viewed by everyone. “We are planning to collect penalties of up to ₹4,000 per tonne from people in housing units found discarding waste in the open,” he added.
Mr. Mahesan said: “Surveillance cameras have been installed at strategic locations, identifying heavy vehicles dumping waste in non-designated areas. Action was taken, including levying fines and raising barriers around waterbodies to restrict vehicle entry.” He pointed out that the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) tracks the civic body’s waste collection vehicles.
Mass cleaning Saturdays
The GCC has taken up mass cleaning initiatives of vacant lands owned by other departments, markets, waterbodies, burial grounds, and hotspots for waste accumulation across the city on all Saturdays since 2022.
As per the data shared by the civic body, between August 25 and September 9, penalties worth ₹93,550 were collected and 414 police complaints were lodged against those repeatedly indulging in open dumping. In the previous fortnight, fines worth ₹1,03,700 was collected and 421 complaints were lodged with the police.