CHENNAI: The evicted pavement dwellers from Egmore, who were relocated to a shelter in Periyamet, refused to eat food on Wednesday as it was transported in a garbage collection vehicle. Visuals shared by the residents showed vessels containing lemon rice and tomato rice being ferried in a battery-operated vehicle, which the corporation uses for garbage collection. Remnants of chlorine powder was visible on the vehicle.
When TNIE visited the shelter at 2 pm, the food remained untouched.
“The driver said the food was hygienic and the vehicle had not been used to collect garbage recently,” said Vinodh, a relocated dweller. The zonal officials said, “The vehicle is not used for carrying garbage although it looks the same.”
However, green-coloured vehicles are used only to collect door-to-door garbage. Visuals suggested the vehicle was cleaned with chlorine, a process generally associated with garbage collection trucks.
The residents also complained of poor quality rice. “In the pavements we cooked our own food but here since there are no kitchens, we are forced to eat food given to us,” said Muthulakshmi. At least 20 people were seen purchasing food from nearby eateries.
‘Sewage stagnation, saltwater’
The residents also complained of saltwater and algae in Metro Water tank.
Sewage stagnation also was seen in some parts outside the shelter, as a result of which, the residents are facing mosquito menace.
For now, they have pinned hopes on assurance given by MLA I Paranthamen, who promised proper housing for all within two months.