Chennai: In a move that will be beneficial to residents of Pallavaram and Zamin Pallavaram, the Tamilnadu Forest Department has started a Forest Ranger Patrol service on Pallavaram- Thoraipakkam Radial Road.
The squad will nab illegal sewage tankers and individuals dumping wastes on areas near the stretch.
It may be noted that the neighbourhood is naturally bestowed with several waterbodies, which recently are bearing the brunt of reckless dumping and extraction activities.
The recent decision of Pallavaram-based tanners to construct an effluent line across these, has also added fuel to fire.
“Once upon a time, on both the sides throughout this Radial Road, there used to be only water and greenery. But now, the entire stretch has turned into a concrete jungle, thanks to rampant encroachment by private parties and dumping of garbage. Despite knowing that the soil is loose here, there are many high-rise buildings,” said a resident K Nagaraj.
In a bid to mitigate these issues at least to a certain extent, the Forest Department has seemingly come up with the new initiative.
According to sources, “Officers have been appointed for looking after the stretch in the day and the night as well. Cleaning of sewage or garbage will be undertaken in association with Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). According to them, metal absorbing plants will also be employed for the activities.”
It has been learnt that offenders caught during the patrol will be charged up to Rs one lakh.
On this, Pallavaram resident Chandra Mohan, said, “It’s a good move and will surely prevent strangers from spoiling the stretch. I heard that wastes from as long as 40 kilometres away are being dumped here in the night. Although mere fines won’t be deal breakers, they will surely be a warning sign for offenders that they are being monitored. Officials should also nab tankers which illegally draw water from the neighbourhood.”
Another resident M P Ashok, said, “This aside, the government should also prevent the effluent line from being set up, as even a minor leakage will kill the entire ecosystem of the waterbodies on the road. Secondly, the tankers caught should be deprived of their licenses.”