CHENNAI: The disappearance of smouldering garbage dump under the Maduravoyal flyover on the Chennai Bypass Road comes as a welcome relief to daily commuters, who will no longer have to breathe in the putrid smoke.
However, it is not the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that has woken up and reclaimed its land by removing mounds of rotting domestic waste and restricting access to the area using metal boards.
In fact, the NHAI officials were surprised about the recent developments and did not know that their land had been cleared up over the course of the last week.
“We had been thinking it was Corporation which was dumping waste there, but learnt it was the Vanagaram town panchayat. We have complained to the Director of Town Panchayats,” said a senior official in NHAI Chennai regional office.
Sources in Vanagaram town panchayat said they had been told to stop dumping of domestic waste under the flyover by a private company, (linked to a top politician) which operates nearby.
“We were asked by a State minister to stop dumping our waste there and the company fenced the area with metal boards,” said an official in Vanagaram Town Panchayat.
Express reported in August 2017 how the Vanagaram town panchayat had been using the area as a transfer station for domestic waste. The town panchayat had then claimed that they had no lorries to transport the domestic waste to Kodungaiyur dump yard, which is 25 km away.
However, officials claimed that rental lorries have been arranged to take the waste to Kodungaiyur daily.