The streets in Peerkankaranai, one of the fast-developing suburbs of Chennai, is littered with garbage, complained residents, charging the local body officials of not attending to it promptly. In some cases, the garbage collectors are setting it on fire, filling the neighbourhood with smoke, they added.
The Peerkankaranai town panchayat consists of 15 wards with a population of more than 30,000, but it does not have a proper place to segregate and store the collected garbage. The town panchayat had approached the government seeking a place to dump the garbage, but there has been no progress on it even after several years.
Some of the residents here blame the garbage collectors for dumping it in private lands in the locality that are vacant. In many cases, these are also set on fire, complained the people here.
"I have seen them dumping the garbage and setting them afire. Apart from the foul smell, there is smoke as well, which is affecting the health of the people here, especially the children and elderly,” said Samuel, a resident from the neighbourhood.
According to the residents, the place where the workers dump the garbage is very near to a school, church and the local post office. This forces hundreds of people here, including school students, to deal with the sight, stench and smoke from the garbage mount.
Claiming that many here have had fevers and other health trouble due to this, the people here questioned the move to dump the garbage in a residential area just because the local body does not have a proper place.
When contacted, Peerkankaranai Executive Officer R Suma put the blame on a section of the residents. “There are a few residents who are not ready to pay Rs 30 a month for collecting garbage. They are the ones who are dumping the garbage on roads and vacant lands,” she said, promising to review the situation and take action. The official added that the land for disposing of the waste in Kolathur would soon be approved by the district Collector.