Kodungaiyur dumpyard worries north Chennaiites

“To prevent fire outbreaks in the dumpyard, we’re planning to appoint a security guard at night,” the official added.
Kodungaiyur dumpyard worries north Chennaiites
Trucks clearing garbage at Kodungaiyur dumpyard

Chennai: While the State and city civic administrations are focused on resolving the blaze in Perungudi dumpyard, residents of North Chennai are worried that Kodungaiyur dumpyard, where garbage fires are common, might be next.

“Two months ago, there was a major fire outbreak, and it took an entire day to control the fire and smoke. Residents urge the government to shift the dumpyard from Kodungaiyur but our pleas have been ignored for more than a decade,” lament local residents while interacting with DT Next.

“Release of toxic gas due to garbage burning is a perennial issue. Sanitary workers dump their waste here, and often burn it too,” said R Ganesh, a Kodungaiyur resident. “It also affects the groundwater table polluting the entire locality, which forces residents to rely on private water tankers. The water contamination started 15 years ago and there’s no remedy till now.”

The situation is worse when it rains, as bad odour sifts through the air during monsoon season.

“Most residents have poor ventilation, as windows and doors are constantly kept closed to avoid the odour,” he added.

Residents are fed up of filing complaints with the government to shift the dumpyard. “Even petitions to the High Court have not provided relief to this long-term issue. We request the authorities to shift the dump yard at the earliest,” averred T Udayakumar, another resident of Kodungaiyur.

When contacted, a Tondiarpet Zonal official said that they have 7 incinerators to dispose the waste including plastic and coconut fibre. “To prevent fire outbreaks in the dumpyard, we’re planning to appoint a security guard at night,” the official added.

“Continuous exposure to toxic gas for a long time will affect the respiratory system leading to asthma, pneumonia and tuberculosis,” opined Dr Anantha Subramanian, pulmonologist, Kauvery Hospitals. “The common symptoms include cough and breathing difficulties in the initial stage. Severe exposure to smoke leads to emergency treatment. Wearing a mask can help curtail the infection to lungs and prevent pneumonia.”

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