Published Date: 28/5/2009 - (NIE)
Chennai, May 27: THE Kuthambakkam villagers have given a 15-day ultimatum to the State government to reconsider its decision of to allot 100 acres of grazing land to municipalities for dumping solid wastes.
“We won’t let our green locality become a garbage-dumping yard for the adjacent municipalities at any cost,” the villagers said. Located 50 km from the city, Kuthambakkam is surrounded by several nonpolluting industries. The area falls under the catchment area of Chembarambakkam Lake, one of the main sources of drinking water for South and Central Chennai.
“We plead the government to give up the idea, as its implementation would pollute the nearby Chembarambakkam Lake besides affecting sanity and livelihood of over 5,000 families in the neighbourhood,” R Elango, the former panchayat president of the village who is spearheading the movement said.“If they fail to come out with a decision, we will sit on a fast-unto-death in front of the Gangaiamman Temple in the village,” the residents said.
The State Government has proposed to handover the land to six municipalities – Ambattur, Thiruverkadu, Valasaravakkam, Maduravoyal, Porur and Poonamalle – to dump solid waste. The opposition to the allotment gains weight as a reply sought under RTI application from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board revealed that an inspection committee (mooted after municipalities sought No Objection Certificate for the proposal) earlier concluded that the site (Kuthambakkam) may not be suitable for dumping waste due to its proximity with Chembarambakkam Lake.
Though the agency had issued a noobjection- certificate to Ambattur Municipality for acquiring the site, it had clearly underlined that the order may not be construed as a consent, a prerequisite for implementing heavy environment impact projects.On Wednesday, it was a show of people’s strength. Over 500 residents of Kuthambakkam panchayat and Vellavedu panchayat staged a dharna at the Gangaiamman Temple premises.