Mired in Garbage

Garbage dumped in Thengaithittu

Garbage being burned in Thengaithittu. Photo by T. Singaraveluo, The Hindu

The residents of Thengaithittu and Uppalam villages have been living with the pollution, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss of illegally dumped garbage in and around the Thengaithittu River and along the main road leading to Thengaithittu for years. An article in today’s Hindu quotes the Municipal Councillor for Ward 39 in Thengaithittu saying:

“Vehicles of both private contractors and the municipality dump the garbage here. The site allotted for garbage dumping is at Karuvadikuppam, but they do not go there owing to the distance factor.”

Pleas to local government authorities to stop the dumping have gone unheeded. The article, by Serena Josephine M, titled “No end to garbage dumping here” reports:

…the officials said it was unauthorised dumping of garbage and private contractors were doing it without the knowledge of the authorities. “We had issued strict instructions to the private contractors not to dump the garbage at Thengaithittu. But they dispose of the garbage during nights,” an official said.

Ah, what can a government do when its own contractors break the law?  And if it is done during the night, how can the government know about it?

Residents have filed complaints, stopped trucks, and even raised money to clean up the mess last year, but the dumping continues. Government officials offer a solution when a Rs. 47 crore (approximately US$ 11 million) proposal for an “integrated solid waste management project” submitted by the Puducherry (Pondicherry) government is approved by the Central government.

No point enforcing the law until you have a more permanent solution in place no matter how long it takes, eh?  Who can blame the contractors for taking shortcuts at the expense of the citizens?  After all, they can save so much more money if they don’t have to drive all the way to the legal dump at Karuvadikuppam.  What’s a little smell, ruined wetland habitat, loss of biodiversity, and mosquito-borne diseases?


2 Responses to “Mired in Garbage”

  1. 1 Filio May 26, 2008 at 10:04 am

    This is another typical example of the apathy that the political and bureaucratic establishments have towards good governance. The bottom line is that they JUST DON’T CARE!!! Bad Governance is so deeply engrained in the system that they don’t even feel ashamed to admit it! Bad Governance has now become a part of the system. Politicians and Bureaucrats believe that the public just has to accept it.

    So when things are so rotten, the only immediate solution to solve this problem is to go to the Judiciary and file a case against the Pondy Government. It’s only when they are put under presure that they will perform.

  2. 2 iwrite4u September 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    well said..kindly highlight the garbage disposal in Karuvadikuppam area and uncovered gutters leading to water accumulation and entry of water inside homes during rainy times ..ah..forget to tell about the mosquitoes and its triumph of spreading new diseases..who are to save the residents of Pondicherry ??

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