TN: Police cases fail to deter septic tank operators from discharging waste in fish market drain

From March 2023, the city corporation resorted to filing criminal cases against the operators who release waste in open places.
Representational image of uncleared garbage at the old fish market in Kasimedu.
Representational image of uncleared garbage at the old fish market in Kasimedu. | P Jawahar

MADURAI: Despite booking operators, offering services to clean septic tanks, in connection with dumping waste from these tanks into the open drains at the fish market at Mattuthavani, the issue continues to plague the city, say city corporation officials. It is to be noted that an illegal operator was booked earlier this week for dumping waste into the market's drain.  

Apart from the city corporation, several private operators offer septic tank cleaning services. According to the city corporation, the waste from the septic tank may be released at seven designated pumping stations in the city. However, some private operators continue to discharge the waste into open drains at the Mattuthavani fish market.

The city corporation's efforts at curbing these activities ranged from blocking the approach roads of the fish markets to filing criminal cases against those accused of violating the rules, but to no avail. From March 2023, the city corporation resorted to filing criminal cases against the operators who release waste in open places.

Official sources from the city corporation said a team had caught a suction lorry, owned by Vaigai Septic Tank Cleaning Services, releasing collected sewage into a manhole at the Mattuthavani fish market. The accused is said to have been involved in a series of violations earlier, with the latest incident dating back to December 2023. A criminal case was filed against the operator, said officials. On May 27, another accused person in the city was booked for similar offenses. Officials warned the suspects of criminal action, but to no avail.

Activists have alleged that fish from the Mattuthavani market are transported across Madurai as well as to neighbouring districts. Releasing waste into the open drains may cause health hazards. Even though deterrents such as criminal action and fines have been taken up, miscreants continue to dump waste at the market. Activists have urged for severe action against violators.

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