This, she said, is a result of a shoddy collection system in place. “Conservancy workers come to the locality every day to collect garbage. However, the collection truck is always missing trips and the piled up trash is never removed on time.”
There are a number of eateries in the locality and the waste from them piles up on the same street, along with waste from households. Overnight, rue residents of the locality, the unsegregated waste gathers on the street. However, neither the complaints about the uncollected garbage nor the reckless dumping is looked into, said Savithri.
The cattle menace has only added to their woes. Even the fine being imposed on cattle owners who let their cattle loose has not been a deterrent. A cattle owner has to cough up to Rs 10,000 if his cattle is found wandering on the streets. The Greater Chennai Corporation has also deployed vehicles and staff to impound such cattle. However, Savithri claims that no efforts have been made to rein in the cattle menace in the area. “One sees cow dung everywhere. I see cows ambling down the street even till about midnight,” she added.
Dr R Sokkalingam, veterinary officer, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) from the shelter in Vepery, agreed that cattle menace was prevalent in the area. “We get calls from the area about the cattle being left loose and sometimes running amok. We rescue calves and cows and find kilos of plastic in their stomach. But most often, even if we impound them and keep them in the shelter, the owners don’t come for them. They claim that they didn’t know that the cattle were in the shelter. Even the hefty fine hasn’t deterred owners, who take both the residents and the animals for granted,” he said.
A senior official from Zone 7 maintained that there was no truth in the allegations made by the residents. “We have been cleaning the garbage thrice a day — morning, afternoon and night. Residents don’t follow the routine and dump the waste improperly; the result is overflowing garbage and cow menace,” said the official, insisting that the Corporation has not received any complaints about stray cattle in the area.
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