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Garbage in Palar: Activists deride award winner Vellore
Vellore Corporation recently announced that it had won the national award for solid waste management instituted by a private body under the Janagraha city governance awards for its “decentralised solid waste management” has drawn derision from social activists.
Vellore Consumer Federation president M Sathiyamoorthy was blunt when he said “I wonder how the corporation can accept such awards with a straight face when it uses the Palar river as a dumping ground. Everybody knows that when officials from other states visit the local body to “learn” from it on how to control solid waste management they are taken only to two or three well-maintained segregation centres. Those who instituted the award should have sought feedback from the public which would have revealed the truth.”
Tamilvannan, a history buff and who regularly conducts heritage walks on unknown tourist spots in Vellore reiterating what Sathiyamoorthy said added: “the local body should get its act in order before it informs the public about the awards it receives for solid waste management.”
Local businessman B Shyam said, “when various organizations have been fighting to clean the Palar the district’s lifeline, it is surprising that the local body uses this as a dumping ground.”
Officials, when asked, said the corporation segregated collected garbage into degradable and non-degradable waste. The latter was used to make manure which was much in demand and was given to farmers free whereas non-degradable waste especially plastics waste (one lorry load a month) was sent to cement factories in Ariyalur district for use as fuel in their kilns.
It may be recalled that these columns had some days ago highlighted garbage being dumped into the Kalinjur and Katpadi irrigation tanks leaving residents in and around these areas fuming in frustration.
Even students from VIT university had caught on camera a corporation garbage truck owner candidly stating that they dumped collected garbage in various spots.
“The problem with garbage in the Palar is that when the river sees flows as during recent rain, water becomes contaminated making it unfit for consumption by either humans or animals” Sathiyamoorthy concluded.