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Haphazard dumping of vegetable waste maligns Trichy’s clean city tag

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Residents have started raising questions as to how Trichy was conferred with the ‘cleanest city’ tag in the Swachh Survekshan results, when one of the prime localities, the Gandhi Market does not meet the objectives and parameters required for a clean city. With vegetable and fruit waste dumped on roads round the clock coupled with poor enforcement in levying penalties for offences, residents question the implementation of the solid waste management (SWM) and civic body’s ability to recycle waste.

Apart from causing frequent traffic snarls, the seven-acre large Gandhi Market has always been a vulnerable zone for sanitary officials to ensure cleanliness. With 250 to 300 shops including exclusive ones for onion, potato and fruits, civic body sources said that Gandhi Market on average churns out 40 tonne of waste per day. The quantum might increase by 10-15% during festival days.
Though eight vehicles are involved in removing the vegetable waste mounted along the streets of Gandhi Market, to nearby micro compost yards, irresponsible dumping of waste is a regular scene in the locality. “Gandhi market is an eyesore to the city. Until the politics in relocating the market to the city outskirts is resolved, the district administration and civic body should at least ensure cleanliness in the locality,” said H Ghouse Baig, secretary of consumer protection council, Ponmalai branch.
Dharbarmedu and Thaneerpandhal on Thanjavur Main Road passing through the Gandhi market are the epitome of this problem. In Dharbarmedu, fruit stalls often dump their unsold and decayed fruits, while the civic body instead of streamlining the traders, collect and dispose the waste. Garbage dumped on roads often invites stray cattle. Though Trichy Corporation can levy penalty between Rs 250-500 for irresponsible waste dumping, imposing penalty is a rarity as traders seldom oblige to instructions.
“A section of traders in Gandhi Market are not cooperating with us to keep the ambience clean. At least 200kg of fruit and vegetable waste are dumped on the road,” a corporation official told TOI. Though the civic body purchased a pulveriser machine for disposing banana bunches safely, they were found dumped on roads. Corporation officials assured that alternative measures would be chalked out to ensure hygiene in Gandhi Market.

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