Garbage being dumped in Perungudi estate

J. Malarvizhi

Lack of underground drainage, streetlights affects workers; a boy died this week after falling into a manhole

Vacant space is meant for sewage disposal through open wells

Officials say they do not have funds to construct a compound wall

CHENNAI: Local panchayats on the outskirts of the city are using vacant space in Perungudi industrial estate for dumping garbage. The lack of underground drainage, streetlights and good roads are other problems plaguing the estate.

A boy died earlier this week after falling into an open manhole, employees at a unit said. The vacant space, now being used to dump the garbage of the local panchayat, is intended for sewage disposal through open wells.

Government officials concerned said they did not have funds to construct a compound wall around this area to prevent dumping.

“Employees have been falling sick owing to smoke at the MTAB Engineers unit situated in front of the plot. Several letters to the officials concerned have proved futile,” said S. Sundaram, Manager, Human Resources.

The estate is located off the recently-rechristened Rajiv Gandhi Salai behind buildings housing information technology companies. More than 2,000 workers are employed in over 200 units, manufacturing electrical, electronics and instrumentation products, in small, medium and large units here.

Full of potholes

On turning into the estate from the former OMR, the visitor is greeted by rubble-strewn, mud roads filled with potholes. Open drains carrying wastewater, some bearing a lush crop of water hyacinth, line their sides.

Open drains clogged

On one end of the estate, where the space is allotted for sewage disposal, garbage is being piled up. The mounds are set on fire at regular intervals. Polythene and paper dumped here are seen strewn across the estate, clogging the open drains and leading to stagnation of sewage along with rainwater on the roads, said M. Thamodharan, assistant manager at one of the units in the estate.

Poor lighting is another problem, he said. Lack of streetlights makes it difficult for the more than 100 female employees working at the unit to leave after dark.

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