Residents said when Corporation delays removal of garbage, miscreants set it on fire.
“When the Greater Chennai Corporation delays removing the garbage, miscreants set it on fire. We do not know who is doing it,” a shop owner, on the condition of anonymity, said.
When DT Next visited the spot, on Saturday, half-burnt wood, garden waste and other garbage were found. Smoke from the embers emanated a similar smell which is similar to burning plastic. It forced motorists and pedestrians to hold their breath while crossing the bridge.
The shop owner added that the issue has been there for months and urged Corporation officials to take action against those who set fire to the garbage and against those who dump waste on the pavement, too.
Arulmigu Thiripurasundarai Amman Temple is located on the street, only a few meters away from the bridge. “Devotees come here in hope of peace. However, the burning of garbage has become a nuisance. We were told that burning plastic and electronic waste is bad for health. We don’t know why they do this,” M Kamatchi, a resident who visited the temple on Saturday, said.
While shop owners and residents face the issue every day, motorists crossing the bridge also suffer frequently. “As the streets connect several areas of Choolaimedu to Nelson Manickam Road, we are using the street every day to avoid traffic snarls on main roads. The road also narrows near the bridge thus creating a bottleneck during peak hours. Now, we must also put up with the smoke,” K Barath, a resident of Periyar Pathai in Choolaimedu, said.
When contacted, a Corporation official said that residents continue to dump debris and garden waste on the bridge even after repeated requests. “Even though we remove the garbage frequently, miscreants set it on fire. We will act against the persons behind soon. Residents should also restrain from dumping waste on the platform,” he added.