Acting on a tip that huge loads of waste brought from Kerala were being dumped in pits dug up in the farmland owned by Sanjay Antony, a Kerala native at ‘Irattaimadai’ near Semmanampathy in Anamalai area, the farmers upped vigil over the last few days.
The farmers noticed three lorries with Kerala registration numbers laden with waste entering the farmland late on Wednesday night.
They acted swiftly and seized the three lorries and an excavator used to dig earth. However, a group of around 10 men, including the lorry drivers, managed to escape from the spot.
As the news of the seizure spread, more villagers gathered at the spot staged a protest against the dumping of waste from the neighbouring state.
Inquiries by police and officials of the revenue department revealed that the waste loads were brought from the Thrissur Corporation limits.
“Dumping of medical, poultry and other waste from Kerala continues unabated over the last few years on vacant lands in Tamil Nadu border. It has become a serious health hazard for people in these villages. Many allow dumping of waste by taking money without any concern for the degrading water table and environment,” said S Ramamurthy, a farmer.
Following this incident, the villagers wanted the police to intensify vigil in check posts on Tamil Nadu-Kerala borders to prevent lorries clandestinely bringing waste into the state. Meanwhile, officials are yet to decide if the waste needs to be sent back to Kerala or should be disposed of safely here after tracing and penalizing the offenders.