CHENNAI: Nearly 1 lakh metric tonnes of waste is the giant figure the City Corporation is staring at in the days after the deluge.
More workers have been roped in from nine other Corporations, totalling 35,000, to tackle the sudden surge in trash, despite 619 tipper lorries, 116 JCB vehicles and 45 small loaders having been pressed into service. In the last four days alone, the total solid waste cleared by Chennai Corporation had come up to a grizzly figure of 38,495.3 metric tonnes. Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development, Law, Courts and Prisons SP Velumani convened a meeting on Thursday during which it was decided to use the vehicles on a day-and-night basis to remove the slush and trash.
The average solid waste that the city usually generates and is disposed of at Perungudi and Kodungaiyur dumpyards is about 4,815 tonnes a day.
But after the waters receded, several localities saw overflowing dustbins and garbage strewn around on the corners of roads and streets as well as newly-laid footpaths despite Corporation workers going about on their routine daily collection and garbage vehicles being dispatched. Even in upper-middle class areas like Egmore and Kotturpuram, waste has been accumulating to a throttling point everyday over the past week.
On Monday, the total garbage collected stood at 7,888.5 tonnes, which rose to 8,069 tonnes by Tuesday. The city saw the record highest on Wednesday with 10,512.1 tonnes, which is more than a 100% increase in what Chennai has been handling on a daily basis.
Tondiarpet, Royapuram and Kodambakkam emerged as the ‘filthiest’ zones with the highest garbage collected, along with others which too showed alarming rise.
Sholinganallur was the only zone that surprisingly saw a dip in the amount of trash picked up. “In the aftermath of the floods a lot of waste was generated. Over 100 Corporation camps are functioning and there is a lot of waste generated from here as well. Besides the usual volume of garbage from households and commercial entities, we expect the figure to be high till the relief work is over,” an official said.