Coimbatore: As many as 50,000 voters of Pollachi constituency plan to boycott the Lok Sabha election unless candidates give them 'written promises' to relocate the Vellalore corporation dumping yard from Vellalore in the suburbs of Coimbatore.The issue became serious after a huge fire broke out at the yard a couple of days ago. Dark toxic smoke covers an area of 5 square km, diffusing the bright sunlight. According to sources, more than a ton of solid waste that is being collected daily from various parts of Coimbatore is being dumped on the 650 acres allotted by the Coimbatore Corporation at the Vellalore dumping yard since 2002. This is a prime residential area.
Despite serial protests by thousands of residents from hundreds of colonies including Vellalore, Konavaikal Palayam, JJ Nagar, Kurichi, Podanur, LG Nagar, Mettoor, Arul Murugan Nagar, Carmel Garden, Sai Nagar, Fatima avenue, Railway Colony and Srinivasapuram, demanding relocating of the dumping yard to Orattukuppai , an abandoned area on the outskirts, the corporation ignored the demands and continues to dump mixed waste collected from hotels, industries, bio-waste, poultry, slaughter houses and septic tank wastes collected from many apartments without segregating them and violating the Green Tribunal's order of last year. In course of time, local residents are suffering lung diseases including chronic asthma after inhaling the toxic air from the dump yard.
Martin Hawkes, a local resident said that after independence, many Anglo Indians migrated elsewhere, but hundreds of Anglo-Indians in Coimbatore preferred to remain here for the pleasant climate in Podanur which is otherwise known as the poor man's Ooty. Now this area is surrounded by toxic air.
A sudden fire broke in the dumping yard a couple of days ago, thousands of people suffered severe asphyxiation and left their homes. Efforts by the fire fighting brigades along with hundreds of corporation sanitary workers failed and on Monday (the third day) air force helicopters from Sulur were used to bring the fire under control. However the area continues to be surrounded by dark smoke. "So we have decided to boycott the upcoming elections if candidates do not give us a promise in writing to relocate the dump yard," added Martin.
V. Eshwaran, MDMK state youth wing secretary and Sundarapuram resident told the DC, he had taken several initiatives and spent money from his own pocket to file a case at the Green Tribunal which took five long years to get the order against the corporation in 2018. At least now the municipal corporation should wake up, he added....