CHENNAI: Days after heaps of garbage at Pallavaram waste transfer station caught fire, garbage from the yard is being transported to a legacy waste dump yard at Appur Village in Chengalpet. Activists have raised a red flag that how the municipality could add fresh garbage to the legacy waste site, which is located near Appur Reserve Forest area.
“How can fresh garbage from one place be transferred to a legacy waste dump yard in another place, that too near a Reserve Forest? The heaps in Pallavaram are not even legacy waste and are just a few months old,” said activist David Manohar.
The mountains of garbage in the waste transfer station along the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road were causing severe health issues to commuters and residents nearby. Many commuters alleged that the foul smell from the station was causing distress while passing through.
While it is called a ‘Transfer Station’, the garbage has remained there for ages without being removed. Activists had alleged that Pallavaram Municipality purposely dumped the garbage into the nearby Putheri Lake to get rid of it and also to make way for encroachments in the lake. However, officials denied these allegations, and a case in this regard is also pending with National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Activists who tracked the lorries carrying the garbage from Pallavaram said that the waste was being dumped at a site near the Appur Reserve Forest. “If they send the garbage to Perungudi dump yard which is nearby, they have to pay a heavy tax to Chennai Corporation. Hence, they are shifting it out of the city,” David Manohar alleged.
Pallavaram Municipality Commissioner C Mathivanan said that the waste was not being dumped near Appur but it was taken to Kodungayur. “Daily, we are sending 10 lorries to Kodungayir. Activists are spreading fake news about the municipality,” he told Express.
However, Chengalpet Collector John Louis said the waste was indeed being taken to a legacy waste site near Appur, and that it was a wasteland and not belonged to the forest area. “The waste will be mined and segregated. It is happening under the supervision of the NGT,” he told Express.