MADURAI: Alleging that the city corporation has banned private suction lorries from using pumping stations to discharge waste stating that it leads to incidents of open discharge activities, the private operator's welfare association submitted a petition to officials concerned and announced that they would stage an indefinite strike from Wednesday.
The private suction lorry operators stated that, for years, around 50-60 suction lorries have been used to manually clean the sewage from drains in the city.
"At first, the collected sewage was released in the open. But later on, after officials from the city health department created awareness among the operators about the impact of open discharge on the environment, the operators began dumping the collected waste at the 18 corporation pumping stations, for which an annual fee of `15,000 was collected for the past eight years. However, the cost increased to Rs 30,000 around four years back," the lorry operators said.
They further said in the past year, the operators have been paying the fee and dumping the sewage at the pumping stations. "The city corporation, without citing any reasons, has now banned private suction lorries from dumping at pumping stations. We refrain from dumping waste in open spaces because we understand how it would affect the environment," they said and added that they had demanded the city corporation allow the operators to dump waste at the pumping stations at the existing fees.
Alleging inaction, the Madurai private suction lorries association on Monday said they would stage an indefinite strike from Wednesday.