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Residents turn the heat on Corporation over burning garbage

WHAT A MESS: Through their latest initiatives, residents of Kurichi and Vellalore hope to find a permanent solution to the garbage menace at the city Corporation's compost yard nearby. - Photo: K. Ananthan

WHAT A MESS: Through their latest initiatives, residents of Kurichi and Vellalore hope to find a permanent solution to the garbage menace at the city Corporation's compost yard nearby. - Photo: K. Ananthan  

The Mayor and the Commissioner were approached six times

Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: After three years of efforts at the local level, residents of Kurichi and Vellalore here have taken to Chennai their struggle to have Coimbatore Corporation's compost yard shifted from Vellalore.

Kurichi-Vellalore Pollution Prevention Action Committee said on Monday that its members would attend a meeting at Chennai on October 3, convened by Local Administration Minister K.P. Anbazhagan to discuss health hazards from unsafe dumping of waste in the yard.

It also submitted a memorandum to the chairman of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) recently and looked for a solution from the highest level of the Government. The Committee said the decision to meet officials and Ministers at Chennai was taken after realising there was no remedy in sight to the accumulating waste and the flies that feasted on them and also invaded houses nearby.

The secretary of the committee K.S. Mohan said the residents' sole request was to shift the yard from Vellalore to a place where human habitations were at a safe distance from the disposal site.

Memorandum to Ministers

The members camped at Chennai from September 21 to meet six Ministers, including Anbazhagan, and three top-level officials, including Health Secretary Sheela Rani Chungath and the TNPCB chairman Surjit K. Chaudary. Mr. Mohan said the committee representatives also met Commissioner for Municipal Administration Ambuj Sharma, to apprise him of the situation in the yard. In its memorandum to the Ministers and officials, the committee claimed that nearly a lakh people lived in residential colonies around the yard at which biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste were dumped.

They lay accumulated without any proper disposal method and this led to serious health problems among the people.

The Mayor of Coimbatore and the Corporation Commissioner had been approached six times to urge them to provide a lasting solution but nothing had happened so far, the members told the Ministers and officials. Mr. Mohan said a copy of a waste management plan evolved by Siruthuli - a public initiative to revive water resources here - was also submitted to them. Apart from the committee's representatives, officials in charge of municipal administration, health and pollution control would also participate in the October 2 meeting, convened specifically to discuss the problems faced by the residents from the yard.

The committee saw this as a significant development in its struggle. "We hope that at least now measures will be taken to end our plight," Mr. Mohan said.

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