In yet another case of dumping waste in Coimbatore from the neighbouring Kerala, a truck driver who attempted to offload thermocol waste on a vacant land near the L&T Bypass Road was caught by members of the public on Sunday. The truck driver had ferried a consignment of refrigerators to Kochi in Kerala and tried to dump the thermocol waste while on its way back via Coimbatore.
In an earlier incident, two weeks ago a truck from Kerala was seized by the Corporation security guards, when it tried to dispose the garbage and medical waste at Vellalore dumpyard.
MDMK leader Easwaran who went to the spot where the thermocol was being offloaded alerted the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials and the police. Subsequently, the Podanur police seized the vehicle. Eswaran said continuous dumping of waste from the neighbouring state is turning out to be a concern and the administration should seriously look into the matter.
While the TNPCB and police were yet to decide on the charges to be slapped against the driver, Eswaran insisted that thermocol has been classified as hazardous waste. This waste also finds its way into the ponds and chokes storm water drains. Considering the larger impact of it even the Pune Municipal Corporation is planning to operate a separate thermocal waste processing plant, he said.
Raising an important question Eswaran said that while indiscriminate dumping affects the environment, the cost for disposing the waste has to borne by the administration.
R Raveendran of Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore said the vehicles are crossing at least two check posts before entering Coimbatore. It shows that the officials are failing to do their duty properly in checking for transportation of waste into the State.
Besides fining them and taking action against the culprits, the officials at the check post should also be questioned as the vehicles couldn’t have entered without their knowledge, he added.
K Ravichandran, District Environmental Engineer, said he would look into the issue. He felt that it would be difficult to check each and every vehicle passing through the check posts. But it is the responsibility of check post officials to do it and the Environment Department would soon hold a meeting with the Transport officials to curb the practise.