CHENNAI : Even as the Chitlapakkam panchayat is removing garbage from the dump yard along the lake, residents on Wednesday morning noticed trucks unloading more garbage in the same dump yard. “We were happy with the panchayat’s decision to clear the garbage out of the lake.
But to our surprise, new trucks are unloading here — what’s the point?” asked Govindaraj K, a resident and member of the local resident activism group Chitlapakkam Rising. After consistent measures taken by the group for around three years, the authorities had started clearing the dump yard last month.
A minimum of ten trucks were put to work to transport the garbage from the dump yard, to be converted later to a scientific landfill. The waste was being transported at a cost of `45 for three metric tonnes over a distance of one kilometre. “When we are spending lakhs to transport the garbage out of the lake, how does it make sense to unload fresh garbage on the same lake?” asked Govindaraj. Residents had caught the act on video before confronting the panchayat officials, they said.
“The officials said that when the quantum of waste was too high to be deposited at the waste segregation plant where the waste should ideally be taken, it is dumped here,” said a resident. When work to clear the dump yard began, panchayat officials had told Express that the work was slated for completion within 15 days. Work is still going on, a month later.
When contacted, a panchayat official said that it was cost effective to transport the garbage in bigger trucks. “We thought dumping it here in the dump yard and taking the garbage later in 13-tonne-capacity trucks to where the scientific landfill is being planned makes better financial sense,” the official said. All waste-related problems will be resolved once residents start source segregating, he added.