Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on June 20, 2011:Source:http://expressbuzz.com/cities/chennai/relocate-dumping-yard-from-kodungaiyur-mla/289294.html
CHENNAI: Echoing the local residents’ demand at the well of the Chennai Corporation’s Council Meet, CPIM party’s Perambur MLA A Soundararajan on Wednesday appealed to the Mayor M Subramanian to move the garbage dumping yard out of Kodungaiyur to save people living near the area.While participating in the Council’s proceedings at Ripon Building, Soundararajan said, “Since the very presence of dumping yard at Kodungaiyur has created severe health-related problems for the local people over the years, as an elected representative of those people living near the dumping area, I demand that the yard should be removed from Kodungaiyur and relocated elsewhere.”
Interfering in his speech, Mayor M Subramanian said that the dump yard was in existence even before the advent of residential colonies in the area, hence Corporation should not be blamed for the health hazards. However, the Mayor asked the MLA to suggest a new site where the dumping activities could be relocated if it has to be stopped at Kodungaiyur.
Fully acknowledging the prevalence of health related issues due to the existence of dumping yard in close vicinity of residential areas, Subramanian also informed the MLA that the civic body’s search for a new site for dumping garbage has been fruitless over the years, hence relocation is not possible.
When the Mayor insisted on suggesting a new site for relocation, Soundararajan shot back and said that it was the duty of the local body (Chennai Corporation) to find an alternative site, as the local residents demand the removal of dump yard.
Though the Mayor went on record in the house that the dump yard was in existence much before the residential colonies came up, local residents disputed the Mayor’s claim as false and said that the dumping activities began in mid 1980s while residential colonies had sprung up around the area since the 1970s.
Ganeshan, a local resident, told City Express, “The particular site, where garbage is now being dumped, was once a green patch of land and grass farm. Grass collected from the farm was used as cattle feed for cows at Madhavaram Milk Colony and also given to the animals kept at a zoo located at Moore Market complex.”
According to the residents, the civic body in the early years used to dump garbage at a site near IOC terminal in Korukkupet. After local people resisted, the dumping activities shifted to another location called Ezhil Nagar in Korukkupet.
When the Ezhil Nagar residents too protested, the civic body gradually shifted the dumping activities inside the grass farm and now made it as a full-fledged dumping yard.Ironically, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), in its detailed map of the city, has mentioned the Kondungaiyur dumping site as ‘Institutional Use’.