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Public hearing held on project

K. Lakshmi

Kuthambakkam solid waste management project evokes mixed response

Photo: K. Pichumani

PROS AND CONS: People from several localities present views at a public hearing on the integrated solid waste management project in Kuthambakkam, conducted by TNPCB at Poonamallee on Tuesday. —

CHENNAI: A public hearing on Tuesday on the proposed integrated solid waste management project in Kuthambakkam near Poonamallee saw an equal number of participants speaking for and against the facility.

Various issues pertaining to the proposed facility were discussed at the public hearing, which was organised in Poonamallee by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The integrated solid waste management project is for the five local bodies of Ambattur, Poonamallee, Thiruverkadu, Valasaravakkam and Maduravoyal.

While many residents of Kuthambakkam and neighbouring areas voiced concern over the health and environment aspects of such a facility, those residing in other local bodies and their elected representatives welcomed the move.

Former Kuthambakkam panchayat president R. Elango said the site chosen for the facility is located upstream of the Chembarambakkam lake. The elected representatives or the residents around the site were not consulted before formulating the project. The rapid environmental impact assessment report was prepared, based on a three-month study during summer and hence, it is not comprehensive. B.Vincent, Chembarambakkam panchayat president, said residents are dependent on water from five borewells around the site. The groundwater quality may deteriorate in case of seepage from the garbage brought to the facility. Some residents also pointed out that the area around the site was used as a grazing land for their cattle.

V. Rajagopal, a resident of Anna Nagar Western Extension, said the solid waste management facility to be set up in a scientific manner would put an end to the disposal problem in Ambattur and other local bodies. The officials must also take the support of self-help groups for source segregation.

N. Bhuvaneswari, consultant for World Bank, said the project would help in reducing greenhouse gas emission. Residents from Valasaravakkam, Poonamallee and Thiruverkadu said the project must be carried out in a sustainable manner without affecting the residents of Kuthambakkam.

In his presentation, Ambattur Municipality Commissioner Ashish Kumar said Rs.160 crore is estimated to be spent on the project. Of this, Rs.55 crore has been allotted for the 65-acre site at Kuthambakkam.

The facility would help in processing 335 tonnes of garbage daily. Plastic waste and other recyclable materials would be segregated and transported to various units from the transfer stations.

The garbage would be recycled to manure, refuse-derived fuel for cement industry and eco bricks. Besides creating an eight-acre green belt, stormwater drain network and a system to collect leachate would also be constructed to avoid pollution, he said.

Tiruvallur Collector T. P. Rajesh and TNPCB District Environmental Engineer S. Rajan participated.

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