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Public Health / Sanitation

Restore Adyar, Cooum rivers to past glory: HC

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The Hindu       25.03.2017 

Restore Adyar, Cooum rivers to past glory: HC

Myriad benefits:The court said the restoration of the rivers will ensure unpolluted air and an environment free of health hazards.  

Calls for setting up of high-power panel, dedicated dept.

The First Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday tooksuo motucognisance of the pollution in Adyar and Cooum rivers and directed the State government to appoint a high-power committee and a dedicated department to restore the rivers to their “past glory”.

“The rivers should be cleaned of the sewage and drainage let into them, which is affecting both the ecology of the river and the sea. Sewage treatment plants have to be established at a distance of 20 to 25 km from the city in an area of 50 to 100 acre. The treated water should be utilised for agricultural purposes,” the First Bench of Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice R.M.T. Teekaa Raman said.

The Bench noted that restoration of the rivers to their past glory was important so that the public could use them for boating and other recreational purposes, and residents of adjoining localities would get unpolluted air and an environment free of health hazards.

Suggesting that the State government approach the Central government for financial assistance, the Bench posted the plea to June 30 for the government to file its response.

Parking space in hotels

The First Bench initiated the suo motu proceeding while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition moved by S. Ragu of Vyasarpadi seeking closure of hotels and restaurants till they provide parking space, open space and fire safety facilities within their premises.

On February 11, the First Bench headed by the then Chief Justice S.K. Kaul directed the authorities to shut down eateries that did not have adequate parking space.

When the PIL came up for hearing before the present Bench headed by the Acting Chief Justice, the Chennai Hotels Association, which has moved an impleading petition, contended that several of the restaurants/eateries in the city were established several decades ago with proper trade licences.

Calling upon them to suddenly provide car parking facilities in crowded areas of the city is tantamount to directing their closure as it would be impossible for these restaurant owners to provide vacant premises near their facilities purely for car parking.

Recording the submissions, the Bench directed the Chennai Corporation to file a counter affidavit to the submissions and posted the PIL to April 13 for further hearing.


Sewage let into water bodies

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The Hindu        24.03.2017

Sewage let into water bodies

A tanker lorry operated by Tirupur Corporation discharging sewage and other liquid refuses into Mannarai irrigation tank.R. VIMAL KUMAR  

The lorries are supposed to dump it at treatment plant at Periyapalayam

The corporation authorities who are bound to take steps to protect the health of citizens could be seen setting wrong examples by way of indiscriminate discharge of sewage and other liquid refuses collected from different parts of the city into various water bodies.

According to City Health Officer K. Boopathy, the sewage and other liquid refuses collected through the corporation tanker lorries should be taken to the treatment plant set up at Periyapalayam.

But corporation-operated lorries could be seen dumping sewage into River Noyyal and irrigation tanks resulting in protests from citizens.

On World Water Day, this reporter caught on camera a corporation-operated lorry letting out sewage into Mannarai irrigation tank. When the driver and another person who travelled on the vehicle saw photographs being taken, they immediately sped away the vehicle.

Discharge of sewage into the Mannarai tank, and nearby water bodies had evoked strong protests from residents in the area on previous occasions.

A corporation official said that the administration had never given any instructions to dump sewage in public places.

Action sought

N. Shanmugasundaram, president of Nallur Consumer Welfare Association, said that the corporation should then take action against errant lorry drivers immediately if senior officials were not responsible for the sewage discharge into water bodies.


Where garbage woes pile on

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The Hindu      10.03.2017  

Where garbage woes pile on

Looming danger:Garbage dumped at an enclosure on Thanthoni Amman Koil Street in Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar is a health risk, say residents.V. Ganesan  

Irregular clearing of trash and sewer blocks have affected quality of life

Residents of ward 67 are angry over repeated instances of sewer blocks and garbage accumulation in many places. The ward comprises areas such as Peravallur, Agaram, GKM Colony Main Road and Thanthoni Amman Koil Street.

E. Balaji, who runs a shop on Thanthoni Amman Koil Street, said garbage dumped at a site on the street is regularly cleared, leading to foul stench and unhygienic conditions. “The mosquito menace has become worse in this area owing to this problem. I close my shop by 7 p.m. It is really frustrating when such problems affect your routine life,” he added.

Devi Velayutham, another resident of the area, said she was forced to keep the windows of her house shut throughout the year because of the stench and mosquitoes. “It becomes extremely suffocating during summer. Despite keeping the windows closed, the mosquito menace is still quite bad. I don’t even let my children play anywhere close to the dumping site fearing they will develop some disease,” she added.

Ill-maintained park

A portion of the park on Thanthoni Amman Koil Street is in a poor state and desperately needs maintenance, he added. “Earlier, my son would go there to play but not any more. The place looks haunted. While a portion of the park is well-maintained, the other is in disrepair with the play equipment for children all rusted,” Mr. Balaji said.

Another issue that residents face is the constant blocking of sewer lines in some streets. S. Shantha, a resident of Kannabiran Street, said, “Sewer blocks occur at least three or four times every month. Filing a complaint and getting it fixed each time is very exhausting. This is not how it is supposed to function.”

A few streets are not very well maintained. K. Thangammal, a resident of GKM. Colony 10th Street, said “The road has not been laid for years now. Also, there is a small pond close to the street which stinks and is a breeding site for mosquitoes and flies. Residents fall sick regularly.” Even the GKM Colony Main Road hasn’t been spruced up for quite a while now.

Officials of the Chennai Corporation said they would soon take up work to relay roads that have been left out. “Garbage never gets accumulated here. Source segregation is done and it is removed every day,” an official claimed.


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