Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Althatara is a residential area in Thiruvananthapuram, which is the capital of God's own country - Kerala

THIRUVANATHAPURAM: The hue and cry over waste-dumping is not something new in the city. Althara, a residential area, has unwillingly followed suit. A vacant plot in Althara has now been transformed into an unauthorised trash dump much to the horror of the residents.

“Coping with the stench arising out of this waste deposit every day is not an easy task,” said C X Antony, whose house is close to this property.

When asked who should be held responsible for the dumping,  he said: “It is not easy to find out who is actually doing this, as there are not one but many.”
People who are not ready to pay money to the Kudumbashree units to pick wastes dump their wastes here, sometimes early in the morning or late in the night, which makes it difficult to identify them, he said. There were times, when his house was constantly haunted by snakes.
“Fish mongers also worsen the situation as they dump the waste here. If there is any maintenance work going on in any of the houses in that area, they too dump their wastes here. People are reluctant to dump even drainage wastes. When a dog or cat dies, it would be wrapped in a plastic cover and thrown here,” he said.

Pedestrians are also bearing the brunt as the waste often spills on to the road. Shanthini Jayadevan, a veterinary doctor and also a resident who lives at the other end of the property, said: “The people are not cooperative and that makes it all the more difficult to find a solution to this common problem. The plot has become a grazing field for snakes, stray dogs and other creatures."
The stray dogs pose another threat, she said, especially to her two school-going children.
A fire broke out on the plot thrice and the residents believe that it was done deliberately by those who were depositing waste as the mound of garbage was increasing beyond limits.
Two years ago, the residents had filed complaints with the Health Department as well as with the City Corporation through their Residents’ Association. But the situation still remains the same. When contacted, G Mohan, the then Residents’ Association president, said that he had brought the matter to the attention of the authorities and measures were taken to clean the property.  “We were also able to make the authorities conduct intermittent inspections then.” He said that fining those persons who dump the waste could be a solution.
Althara councillor K Suresh Kumar said that arrangements were made to clean the road whenever he spotted waste spilling on to the road from this property. “But as this is a private property, the Corporation has its own limitations. Fining the persons who dump waste is not an ideal option as they must be doing it in the wee hours,” he said.

When contacted, Pushpalatha, Chairperson, Health Standing Committee, said that so far nobody had brought the matter to her attention and that the Committee would soon look into the matter

by Shalet Jimmy

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