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Residents protest against groundwater pollution in Perungudi dump yard

Residents allege that the dump yard had caused severe groundwater pollution in the areas along the Rajiv Gandhi Salai affecting about 15 lakh people

January 21, 2023 07:07 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 09:36 am IST - CHENNAI

Residents of the areas southern parts of Chennai staging a protest demanding closure of the Perungudi dump yard and eco restoration of the Pallikaranai marshland.

Residents of the areas southern parts of Chennai staging a protest demanding closure of the Perungudi dump yard and eco restoration of the Pallikaranai marshland. | Photo Credit: M. KARUNAKARAN

Residents of the southern parts of the city on Saturday held a demonstration demanding closure of Perungudi dump yard and commencement of eco restoration of the Pallikaranai marshland.

At present, the State government has taken up eco restoration of a portion of the Pallikaranai marshland on the southern part of Thoraipakkam Pallavaram Radial Road on 445 acres of land, which was handed over by the Greater Chennai Corporation 10 years ago.

Around 500 acres of Pallikaranai marshland is still used by the agencies such as the Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) for waste management. However, the residents alleged that this had caused severe pollution of groundwater in the areas along the Rajiv Gandhi Salai, which is considered an Information Technology corridor.

Health hazard

Confederation of Sholinganallur Constituency Residents’ Welfare Association general secretary V. Parthiban said more than 15 lakh residents were affected by the groundwater pollution. “In Ward 193, Sai Nagar, 850 houses have been built in the layout formed in 1985. The layout was formed while there was no pollution. Three residents in our layout have been hospitalised now. The groundwater has turned pink. We depend on groundwater for our requirements,” he said.

As many as 149 residents’ associations came together to form a confederation to demand the closure of the dump yard. S. Kumararaja, a resident of Velachery, said the residents had been demanding the eco restoration of the Pallikaranai marshland for the past 20 years. They had launched protests in support of the demand in 2003 under the banner of Save Pallikaranai Marshland Forum.

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