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'In Chennai, Adyar Riverbank Turns Into Dumpyard. No Action, Despite Complaints'

Biomedical waste, animal carcasses, industrial and household waste are being dumped on the riverbank

My Report
2 min read

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Chennai's Adyar River, which flows through Chennai's Kolapakkam behind Omega International School, is highly polluted. The riverbank has been converted into a dump yard as biomedical waste, animal carcasses, and industrial and household waste are dumped at least 7 km on the river bank.

In several places, this garbage consisting of all the untreated waste is being burnt.

Napa Kumar, a 53-year-old resident, said, "The garbage is being dumped behind my land because of which we cannot work. They should dump the garbage somewhere else." 

Untreated biomedical waste is thrown along the Adyar riverbank in Chennai.

(Photo Courtesy: Ishita Singh)

"They’re burning garbage, and it's smoke is suffocating me. This is why I’m wearing a mask, not for COVID. There are mosquitos, which is a problem as well. Cow carcass lying nearby contributes to this problem."
Napa Kumar, Local Resident

Local community members forced to use the dirty water.

(Photo Courtesy: Ishita Singh)

Thamizharasi, another local I met in Kolapakkam, told me, I don’t know where they’re bringing the garbage from. They burn the garbage here. We cannot take up farming here. The water is not good here. It's infested with fleas. As a result, vegetables harvested here smell bad."

"Motorists often meet with an accident and break their limbs. This happens a lot, especially among those who have to go to work daily," added Thamizharasi.

Several locals, I met told me they had complained many times about the issue, but no action has been taken.

"Residents have written letters to the SP requesting him to address this issue. If they do not deal with it, we will have no choice but to leave this place," told Kurian

The untreated garbage is being burnt leading to smoke around the area.

(Photo Credit: Ishita Singh)


Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board Says...

I met the officials at the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. They cited three major reasons for Chennai's waste management issues for years. 

They told us that the government hadn't allocated enough funds for them to create more dumping sites. 

Overconsumption is another issue, as the city produces 5,000 tonnes of garbage every day, and only 20% of it gets dumped legally. 

The pollution control board claimed that Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) hadn't taken any steps to come up with a complete solution for this problem.

We also tried talking to the GCC but officials denied commenting. 


(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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