TAMIL NADU

Spectre of garbage haunts even defence land

AN EYESORE: A site near the Military Hospital where garbage is dumped to the discomfort of residents of Defence Colony and Sundar Nagar in Nandambakkam town panchayat. Photo: A. Muralitharan.  

Staff Reporter

Town panchayat officials plead helplessness "Chemical substances are burnt there"

TAMBARAM: Dumping of garbage on the land belonging to the Ministry of Defence in Nandambakkam has been going on unchecked.

Residents of a couple of localities in the Nandambakkam town panchayat and staff of the new Military Hospital complain that the problems are compounded when poultry waste and chemical substances are burnt in a clandestine operation by miscreants.

According to P. Purushothaman, a resident of Sundar Nagar, a huge tract of vacant land adjacent to the Military Hospital is used as a dumping ground for all forms of garbage.

Waste from poultry and meat stalls, chemical and industrial waste, and garbage from houses and eateries are all dumped on the land already burdened with a dense overgrowth of vegetation.

Though the Defence Ministry has erected a couple of signboards warning against garbage dumping, they are not deterrent. With an inadequate lighting, anti-socials find the site a haven. Residents of Defence Colony and Sundar Nagar are scared of using this stretch to reach Butt Road, according to Mr. Purushothaman.

As the Army planned to implement a few projects on the vacant land, its personnel worked for two weeks to spruce up the area. This led to the garbage being dumped on the defence land on the opposite side.

Mr. Purushothaman and staff of the Military Hospital said chemical substances were burnt there, posing health hazards to the residents around.

Though it was brought to the attention of the Nandambakkam town panchayat, the authorities could hardly help as the land, where garbage is being burnt, comes under the jurisdiction of the St. Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram Cantonment Board.

Official of the Cantonment Board said improvement works were being carried out on the road connecting the Mount-Poonamallee Road with the Military Hospital.

The road was being widened and soon the vegetation would be cleared to make way for a residents' walking track. Sodium vapour lamps had been installed now and problems of dumping and burning of garbage would soon be a thing of the past, officials said.