Concerned over Kerala discreetly dumping its municipal and biomedical waste in the bordering western and southern districts of Tamil Nadu, State Environmental Minister B V Ramanaa has decided to convene a meeting of Pollution Control Board officials to discuss ways to check the menace.
It is reliably learnt that the District Environmental Engineers from Coimbatore, Madurai and Kanyakumari would attend the meeting scheduled for later this month in Chennai. “The borders of these districts are porous making it easy for Kerala to transport its municipal and biomedical waste into Tamil Nadu and dump them on the outskirts of Coimbatore, Kanyakumari and Madurai. There is an urgent need to step up vigil along the border so that the lorries are turned away at the check post itself. The focus of the meeting would be on ways and means to maintain increased vigil in these regions,” a source in the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) said.
The issue of dumping municipal waste had snowballed into an inter-State issue during April-May when four lorry loads of garbage and biomedical waste brought from Kerala were impounded in Pollachi in Coimbatore.
Subsequently, two trucks carrying poultry waste from Kerala were prevented from off loading them in farms here. Activists belonging to the MDMK and Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam launched a sustained campaign against the degradation of farm lands in Tamil Nadu by unscrupulous transport operators from the neighbouring State.
On Tuesday next, the MDMK has announced an agitation in Coimbatore against the practice of dumping waste from Kerala in Coimbatore.
The TNPCB Chairman, Vikram Kapur, has shot off a letter to his counterpart in Kerala, K Sajeevan, asking him “to direct municipal bodies in Kerala not to transport waste into Tamil Nadu.”
Kapur recalled that 100 bags of municipal waste were dumped in a village in Udumalpet in 2008.
These bags were then sent back to Kerala in 20 trucks. He warned of legal action against the violating transporters.