CHENNAI: Even as Fire and Rescue Services personnel are battling to douse the inferno at Kannadapalayam dumpyard in Tambaram municipality, on day three, life was thrown out of gear for about 1,500 families living in the neighbourhood. The pile of smoke screen that descended on the locality had led to reduced visibility and breathing discomfort to the locals.
Continuing heat wave conditions remain a major hurdle and according to sources in the TNFRS it might even take a week to contain the fire.
Naveen, a resident of Gandhi Nagar, complained that the masks provided by the civic body were inadequate in number. “The smoke and dust had contaminated water. We have suggested the women and children in our families to stay with our relatives living elsewhere in the city. Leaving the fan turned on only brings more dust into the house”, he said. Echoing the same, autorickshaw driver Shankar claimed that he could not take out his vehicle due to poor visibility. Vasantha (69), running a petty shop, said she had developed wheezing. “I decided not to open the shop until the fire was put out. It had been a perennial issue here for the past four decades. The garbage catches fire during summer and will take days to be put out. I opened the shop on specific demand from the neighbours requiring essential supplies”, she noted. About six fire tenders are involved in the fire fighting exercise, briefly called off on Tuesday mid-night due to water scarcity, was resumed early Wednesday after the Municipal administration intervened.
TNFRS sources said more than 50 water tankers were used so far in addition to the six tenders. The sources citing the scorching sun indicated that it would take a week’s time to put out the fire completely. “A downpour may come in handy at this time”, the source added.
Animal Husbandry Minister TKM Chinnayya visited the site and took stock of the situation besides instructing the civic body to take measures to put out the fire. Subsequently, Earth movers were pressed into service.