Waterbody conservation Solid waste management Chennai

The battle for Esa Eri rages

A plume of smoke at Pudhupakkam. Photo: special arrangement  

On September 28 this year, Jasraj Nagar and Sai Baba Nagar Residents Welfare Association in Pudupakkam got a reply to its RTI petition that a small piece of land in Pudupakkam village has been identified for dumping garbage. The details about this land have also been clearly spelt out, leaving no room for any ambiguity. But the ground reality is that waste is still being dumped in Esa Eri, a lake in the region.

The Association has therefore made a request to the Chengalpet District Collectorate seeking that steps be taken immediately to stop the dumping of garbage in the waterbody and save it.

A. Devananth, the Association president, says, “We have been taking up this issue for the past many years. In March 2018, we submitted a petition to the Kancheepuram District Collectorate to prevent dumping of garbage in the lake and for removal of the encroachments in the waterbody. The petition was forwarded by the Collectorate to Thiruporur Tahsildarto take action under State Government Order No:540. Further, at the Grama Sabha meeting held on May 1, 2018, we submitted a petition to the Pudupakkam Village Panchayat, to identify a space to segregate the waste. The Panchayat passed a resolution in this regard. These things were submitted to the Kancheepuram District Collectorate (that was before the bifurcation of the district), seeking that it take necessary steps from its side. But, no action has been taken by the Collectorate. Besides, we sent petitions to the Collectorate seeking further action. We have not received any reply from the Collectorate.”

Devananth continues: “Therefore, the Association filed an RTI petition, dated July 25, 2019, with the State Information Commission, seeking to know why there is a delay in identifying a land for source segregation. We also sought to know why the encroachments have not been removed. Only last month we got a reply that land has been identified for dumping waste. However, we find waste being dumped in the lake.”

Devananth draws attention to another issue: “The waste pile-ups are set to fire. Therefore, we are unable to keep our doors and windows open. Smoke engulfs our neighbouhood. In addition, we face the menace of flies and mosquitoes.”

Efforts to contact the authorities at Chengalpet District Collectorate evoked no response.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 4:27:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/the-battle-for-esa-eri-rages/article32935729.ece

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