Chennai: A large heap of solid waste accumulated from nearby residential areas of Iyyappanthangal (lying between a private college and buildings lining A N Elumalai Salai) irk residents.
As a result of urbanisation, three major issues have arisen, say residents. With water bodies encroached, their homes are among the first to be flooded. With no allocated space for garbage disposal, waste is now being dumped at any available empty space. With hoards of encroachments lining the roads, traffic chaos is witnessed daily.
Illegal dump yard
An unauthorised dump yard near A N Elumalai Salai worries residents. They claim that there has been increasing cases of viral fevers among the locals. Devi, a resident says, “The garbage gets dumped here at nights and hence we are unable to stop it. A few months ago, officials promised to clear the space, but they ended up burning the waste instead.” There is no allocation for solid waste disposal here, she rues.
Woes due to rainwater stagnation
Mixing of stagnant water with waste has led to deterioration of quality in drinking water and air. Every year, even a month after monsoon, parts of Iyyappanthangal continued to remain flooded. Senthil, a resident here, says, “I filed a petition to remove encroachments and stagnant water two years ago. But no action was taken.”
Illegal encroachments have reduced road space
Kannappan, a former Village Administrative Officer of Iyyappanthangal Panchayat, who comes to drop his granddaughter at a school here, says that commuting is difficult because of traffic congestion on Mettu Road. The same is the case for hundreds of commuters who use AN Elumalai Salai. The reason for this, the residents say, is because these stretches have shrunk.
“A huge wall that runs for more than 200 meters has become an excuse for encroachers to open up shops here. They promise to move only if the wall is removed,” adds Kannappan.