Residents of Vambay Colony gherao Mayor

Staff Reporter

She, along with floor leaders, visits energy plant

Residents seek steps to stop dumping of waste

Corporation in search of an alternative site

VIJAYAWADA: Residents of Vambay Colony at Ajit Singh Nagar on Saturday virtually gheraoed Mayor Mallika Begum demanding steps to stop the dumping of municipal solid waste near their colony. They entered into a heated argument with the Mayor when she, along with floor leaders of various parties in the VMC general body, visited the waste-to-energy plant being run by the Shriram Energy Systems Limited to understand its functioning. The visit was organised as a follow-up to an assurance given by the Mayor in one of the meetings of the VMC general body. Ms. Begum had a tough time in convincing them that steps would be taken at the earliest to stop the dumping of the waste. The agitated residents of Vambay Colony did not favourably respond to her suggestion to speak to Municipal Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar. They also did not allow the Mayor and floor leaders to visit the plant.

Congress floor leader K. Rajasekhar’s efforts to pacify them did not fructify either, as CPI (M) floor leader Ch. Babu Rao, who led the residents of the Vambay Colony, demanded a categorical assurance that the waste would not be dumped any more.

As an alternative, Mr. Babu Rao suggested that the waste dumped there should be covered by soil, so that there could be no breeding of flies and mosquitoes.

The residents alleged that the VMC Executive Engineer D. Sriramachandra Murthy did not take any action though they submitted a representation earlier. “Due to the dumping of rotten solid waste, a strong stench is emanating from the area, which is making our lives miserable. Despite making repeated requests, officials continue to dump the waste here. Flies and mosquitoes besiege our houses regularly,” complained D. Kanaka Durga, a resident of Vambay Colony.

Explanation sought

The issue subsided when Ms. Begum sought an explanation from Mr. Murthy, who told her that the corporation was in search of an alternative site which would be finalised soon. “The dumping would be stopped within a week. The waste lying here would be covered by soil,” Ms. Begum told reporters.

Later, Ms. Begum, Mr. Rajasekhar, Mr. Babu Rao, CPI floor leader P. Gowtham Reddy, TDP floor leader Y. Ramana, local corporator K. Jana Reddy and others visited the plant. Company director (technical) G. Sunil explained to them the process of generating energy from waste. He told them that the company was facing a financial crunch, which was making the running of the plant difficult. He claimed that the company had incurred huge losses due to the floods that ravaged the city in 2005.

Speaking to reporters later, floor leaders of the CPI, the CPI (M) and the TDP expressed the view that the plant was not serving the motto of waste-to-eneregy. Instead, it was spreading stench and diseases in the surrounding colonies. Alleging that the company was not following the conditions laid down in the agreement, they demanded that the corporation review the agreement.

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