CHENNAI: While the Chitlapakkam lake is being restored at a cost of Rs 25 crore, residents of the area demand for removal of ‘hazardous’ and illegal’ waste incinerator set up near the lakebed by the Town Panchayat a month ago.
It was set up near the boundaries of lake for processing solid wastes in its waste segregation facility. Since then, residents say they have been exposed to toxic fumes as the town panchayat has been allegedly burning non-biodegradable wastes such as clothes, rubber, etc.
“We submitted many petitions to remove the incinerator from the residential area and that the panchayat is burning plastic and other toxic items in it,” said K Sudhakar, a member of Chitlapakkam Rising NGO.
An RTI subsequently filed by the residents to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) regarding permission given for waste processing at the segregation unit revealed that the panchayat did not get any approval from TNPCB.
“Permission not given to Chitlapakkam Town Panchayat for processing and disposal of solid waste,” read the RTI reply.
Following the RTI response, TNPCB engineers visited the spot and inspected the incinerator plant on November 5.
The TNPCB informed the town panchayat to get permission to run the incinerator, but however, did not stop them from running it.
When Express queried TNPCB engineer Vasudevan, in-charge of the division, on the action taken, he did not respond. It may be recollected that Express had earlier this year reported about the waste segregation facility in Chitlapakkam being used as a dumpyard. Following which, the Kancheepuram collector took cognisance of the report and ordered to clear all the garbage. However, after almost 10 months now, mounds of garbage have returned with a new addition of an allegedly toxic incinerator plant.