Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chennai and Garbage Disposal

Following a mention by someone I know especially in Pallikkaranai that garbage is being burned there everyday - I am told it used to be worse but its comparitively better now - I tried googling about the laws of garbage disposal and waste management in Chennai and do not seem to be getting any relevant results.
Especially with Neel Metal Fanalca their inadequacy has been very clear ever since they took over from Onyx. I think the city was definitely cleaner before.
But anyway my question is this. What are the laws governing burning garbage in the city? And what are the rules that need to be followed but are not?
I want to be taking this up on Aahaa Kaapi Klub so any inputs will be really welcome


Santhosh said...

Hi Chinmayee,

I live in velachery and used to travel in the perungudi stretch every day.. i have always wondered if some action will be taken to alter the procedures followed and to push the dumpyards aways from the "now populated" areas...

I googled out some links which might be of use to u in ur programme.. not too sure though :) check'em out...

This is report from loksabha abt solid waste mgmt -

A blog abt NMF's contract with Chennai Corporation -

Hindu report on kodungaiyur dumpyard -

Chennai corporation report on waste in chennai -

Have a great show...!

Niranjana Nammalvar said...

Hi Chins,
I am not sure what exactly the rules are but I can just tell you what I feel about this issue.

-->Garbage should not be burnt in and around residential area.

-->Leaves, twigs and kitchen waste can be segregated and dumped in hollow pits so that it might be used in future as manure.

-->I came to know from an article that cotton from hospital waste is collected and rolled on to make ear buds (Folks be careful dont buy ear buds from the people who sell it in major junctions in chennai). So something really serious must be done to hospital waste before other people lay their hands on it.

Maddy said...

I guess these are the details of laws/rules enforceable by law. Shall come back to your next question may be later

Suree said...

what i think is they have got the permission to burn the garbage over there , long back when nobody use to live in pallekarnai , but as the city expanded , this has become a problem....

I knew few of my friends work in Chennai One office of TCS, they see the garbage burnt on the way to their office,
Not only that, the road paved there are damaged by this garbage it self, because the traces of garbage are being accumulated on the road and make it tough to travel on the road.

Unknown said...


Some change in the attitude of society, corporation and govt towards conservancy staff. This is a welcome change. Also garbage collection has see improvement over the years. I must add here that it is based out of what i see in my area Anna Nagar. But perhaps it could be worse else where in the city. I still feel at the lowest rung the conservancy staff are still dedicated but their management is very poor. The supervisor or who so ever is not effective.

Things to change are
a) When should the Corporation vehicle(the new animal which can pull over a dustbin and crush the waste) come over and pick garbage daily? Most of the places they start this work just about 9.00AM as other office goers get started. This causes lot of traffic choking, health hazard as well. So why not have these Garbage picking vehicles start their duty on a shift basis and start at 4.30AM. Their work will be more efficient and productive given no traffic at that time and also no other hindrance. ofcourse if they start at 4.00 or 4.30AM it might take 3 to 4 hours for them to cover a large area.
The conservancy staff can fee relieved to their work without worrying about traffic etc and also city wakes up to a clean environ.

b) why not these conservancy workers put on hand gloves and operate the machines or even while brooming etc. These workers should mandatorily have gloves ON, slippers ON,a piece of cloth over their mouth. If these are done, the workers health is secured, society at large starts to learn to be more health conscious by looking at these workers.It pays.
c) Garbage collection lorries should be more in numbers.
d) Also dusting the road off sand should not be done by brooms. Instead have on lady\male handle a sand-clearing pushable machine and cover a stretch of a kilometer on main avenues. This should be taken up during night. Mostly we find them doing at peak hours and very dangerous for road users.

In fact conservancy workers of the Corporation should expand their work force and have more machines in their kitty. Also they should operate in shifts and be able to deliver much more than what they presently do.
Also from Govt perspective these workers and families should be covered under medical insurance and paid better.
We have more taxes, more money, more people, good hearted people around. yet we fail to deliver.

Anonymous said...

Hi chinmayi akka.
I am your fan.
I also like Ajeesh's singing.
Can you give me his e-mail id ??
me and my mom would like to wish him all the best for his finals :)
please give me his e-mail id

Jayamurugan said...

Hi Chinmayi,
I am not sure of the governing rules for burning garbage in the City. But I just wanted to tell that in Thuraipakkam[next to Perungudi], garbage are just being disposed and burnt and we the working people here are sufferers. Atleast we are breathing this air once in a while travelling the road. At other times, we are sitting inside the building. The case of the people who are staying here as residents would be worser.

I hope u have read the column 'Memories of Madras' in the Metroplus of the 'The Hindu' dated 08/04/2009 in which Dr.Shantha, Adyar cancer Institute had shared her memories of Madras during 1940s, when there is cleaner and greener Chennai[Marina Beach and Buckingham canal]. Its the technology and lifestyle of people which changed the Chennai city worse as is now.

One more thing, we people should start using degradable bags. We should start taking our own bags when we go to markets so that we can avoid using polythene covers[I think this constitutes a major in garbage] which is given by shops[retails and others].

By the way, Wish you and your mother a very happy Thamizh New year!!! Hope this year bring your dream come true..

Hey, an Article about ARRahman's success[life story] has been started from previous week in Ananda Vikatan. If you find time, do read it.

Praveen said...

I think there should be strict milestones and checks before payments are made to companies like Neel Metal Fanalca. While other cities in the world have advanced garbage disposal systems, we are going backwards. Even the garbage picked up is spilled on the roads which make an ugly sight. That Chennai dint have a mayor in the recent years dint help too.

Magesh said...

I work for a IT company nearby this place.
There are 3 or 4 places near plliakarani serving as chennai cities dumpyard for decades.
Often garbage is burnt here making commutation/living conditions bad.
I heard from some one living nearby that the quality of water is also bad in this area.
Since people have started settling in and around Pallikaranai (Madipakkam, Velachery etc),
First step would be to stop the dumping here any more and next would be to clear the existing one.
I think that area belongs to chennai corporation limit and those authorities should take measures on this.

Anonymous said...

I agree - Neel Metal is just super useless. The city was much better when Onyx was in charge. I hardly see the Neetal Metal guys coming to my street to clear the bins. They almost always overflow...Sad plight.

Anonymous said...

Please talk to Mrs.Jayashree Venkatesan who is an environmentalist trying to save Pallikaraai lake.

Hope said...

Not really sure of pallikaranai , but the same thing happens in Madhavaram and I have seen it myself.And one more place just near Basin Bridge.There are lots of waste treatment methods(incineration... etc) that I have read and also have seen some myself,but not really sure of the one's adopted by Chennai Municipality.

Unknown said...

Again , one among in the list , i (we)also have faced the similar crisis .. you know near the Tamabaram , West Tambaram actually , the garbages on a regular basis are being burnt .. this is an interior area and especially this is the only approaching road to my college in Tamabaram.. i should admit that i travel by that road daily and the amount of trash burnt there is umpteen in amount .. we just cannot breathe while we are that side..
Most importantly theres a Temple opposite one of the places where this is done.. just imagine all of our college students facing this regulary both ito and fro :(.. and i should say , as far i had known there had been no improvement for these two years since I had being watching this .. and addedly , our College authorities know very about this but resulting in their also not having taken any appreciable action..

Arun said...

Of all the above suggestions.. we as the citizens first have to get rid of the amount of plastic usage we do in our daily routine ..which automatically will help to get rid of the toxic smoke emnation from pallikaranai ground...This burning happens only becoz these kinda stuff if it is biodegradable no body will bother to burn this stuff..

The best suggestion would be instead finding ways to tackle goverment we should ask some swamiji to start a mutt or to build a temple near that dumping ground.. this will put a full stop to this nuisance ..

or wait for somemore time ...some builder will acquire that land too soon and we can see a IT park there ;)

To tackle this kinda issues you cannot take a straight path....Mathi yosi ..Makkale..

RT Rajan said...

When is back in online? any idea?

Mystical Taurean said...

True, Onyx were much better.But pallikaranai is in the news and so we are discussing about this here, but there are more such places in and around chennai.There should be a drive to create laws of garbage disposal.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog discussing more abt the Chennai garbage recycling issues. Hope its helpful for ur show.

The burning of such huge garbage dumps is going to increase the already burning weather of Chennai. More heat, more warmer the temperature is going to be felt. I studied in IIT. I had travel this place many times and the heat generated by this was so much, everytime I cross this place tears just pours out from my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Chinmayi San...

Chennai don't have the resources to solve social problems.Moreover, since the obligation to do good is an open-ended one, people wont undertake it.

Intellectual arguments or debate should begin in schools/colleges to solve social problems.They should be madantory social solving problem inorder to pass out.

Don't Take No for an answer. Empower and recognise Who solved it.

Chennai can do better ...Brand Them !!!

hav fun !!!

Unknown said...

Greetings. Every city/town has to follow what is called solid waste management rules.
The civic body concerned, in this case the Chennai City Corporation, has to engage in door-to-door collection of waste and at the collection stage it should separate degradable from the non-degradable, take it to a yard, where the degradable can be composted. The non-degradable shall be buried in safe pits, specially built for the purpose.
This is only to do with domestic waste.
Industrial waste and bio-medical waste are to be treated separately, at least that is what the law says.
I think talking to Nirmal of Exnora will give you more inputs.
Please also check the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, which can be obtained for a few Rupees from any law book store.

Karthik Madhavan

SM said...


I live in the US and couple of things I see here that needs to come to India:

1. Take your own reusable shopping bags. Why have people in India forgotten good olds days of cloth bags to vegetable markets? Many stores here give customer 5 cents off per bag in the bill if we bring your own bags.

2. Reuse any polythene bags as trash can liners instead of junking them. At least that way we reuse them for cleanliness and hygene.

3. More than anything, educate kids in school. (May be its already done but I am not aware of it)

BTW, Apr 22 is earth day and u can speak it to.

- Thanks

Mathavan said...

I do not know about the government's rules. I have two grave concerns about waste incineration in Chennai.

Point 1 : Waste Incineration will lead to increased "Global Warming" fueling climate change. The effects of climate change is extremely dangerous.
Many more places will disappear like Dhansukodi.

Point 2 : Pallikaranai's ground water pollution may expand and reach a wider circle.

Yashwant said...


For about a year and half, I've been reading your blogs. I haven't felt like giving comments to your blogs let alone ask for some help. Now I need a favor from you.

As you know, elections are fast approaching and for South Chennai constituency, Sarath Babu is contesting as an independent. I'm sure you can find many links about him if you google. I'm just providing you one of them.

I don't want you to campaign for or favor him for the elections. I just want you write a small blog with some links to make your readers aware that he is contesting. That's enough. Thanks


Shankar & Parvathy said...

Pallikarani marshlands have been declared as reserve forest areas way back in 2007.

Let's give our municipality guys some excuse (?!) by saying that waste disposal in other areas is a problem of rapid urbanization. But why're there no actions taken to stop waste disposal in a reserve forest area?

If not for environmental considerations, they can at least do something from the perspective of generating more tourism revenue.

I have been to many foreign countries - I have seen the hype and tout that they make about places which one can very easily make out are no greater than what we have in India.

Sadly our guys will be just glad to talk about Vedanthangal for all the days to come, that is, until someone decides that its a good place to start a IT park.

Anonymous said...

hi mam...

I was a student of SRM university Ramapuram. Next to the college is a big..i mean real BIG garbage dump yard.Every morning and evening garbage is burnt and the smoke encircles in the class room. When I spoke to the college authorities about it, they said that the area belonged to the local panchayat and that they were not willing to clear the place. They wanted a place where the locals could dispose the garbage and they found this the "perfect" spot!!!...

imagine the plight of the students in the college. One of my friend became very ill and i caught wheezing - not just once!! I would seriously like to do something and save the health of my juniors!!!!:(

Saravanan said...

Hi Chinmayi,
I live in in Madipakkam, closer to the said place.
As Shankar mentioned in earlier comment, the place has been declared as reserve forest area and actually some boards are put up on the other side of the road (along 200 ft road towards Thuraipakkam)announcing not to tresspass or spoil (adhu governmentukku illa..namakku).
The above is done by the Govt.

Again, on both sides (the road from Kaiveli towards Pallikaranai & the road towards Thuraipakkam) the whole kuppai is being dumped for years together from now. Worst part is they will have this stinking burning ceremony of the whole dump once in 10 days or so. You just cant drive thro' the road while its burning for few days. So much of plastics, solid wastes, e-wastes and what not will be burnt like one grand Homam, hindering the sight of commuters, from an area which will be of some 10's of acres. And if your vehicle blows out some smoke... tholainjeenga... you will be penalised for not checking pollution levels of your vehicle.
Again this is also done by the Govt.

They make rules and they break them... ofcourse rules are meant to be broken... (for Govt. not for public)

Also the nearby stagnation of water (so called Pallikaranai lake) was proposed for a bird sanctuary. Imagine the fate of rare birds ...visiting here during seasons from various countries (which will look like you singers flying to other countries for concerts... hehe...konjam karpanai)

And the 'Super Stinker Title goes to... Neel Metal Fanalca' (read it your style) ... so so so senseless guys.. Onyx was far far better and we can build a temple for them (instead of building for heroines).They did a good job.
These NMF guys will bring a huge truck and will be porukkifying garbage from the bins kept on the main roads and small lanes only during peak hours... If you are on a 2 wheeler during peak hours and if you travel via velachery, kotturpuram, Chamiers Road, TTK Road etc., you can see them performing their duties.. without any botheration about the stagnating traffic caused by them. And while porukkifying, half the garbage will be flying all around.. Then comes the best part..
The huge truck will start moving slowly, spilling the garbage which was porukkified by stopping the whole traffic... And if you are on a 2 wheeler, vaal pudichifying behind the truck... you will just die of the stink and will be blessed by few kuppais falling on you all along the trip, like Akshadhai.

As far my memory goes, Onyx never did such stupid work during traffic hours.

Yaar Kekkaradhu... ??? Sambhavaami Yuge Yuge!! Election Varudhu Makkaley.. Paathu Seyyungo!

BTW : Chinmayi, this is about your earlier post asking for some land for one of your friend. Hope one Mr. Micheal got in touch with you. I forwarded your requirement to him.

Ramakrishnan said...


sorry for posting something irrelevant to the article but please check this in youtube:
This is about the "Thopikaranam".

Anonymous said...


Your singing in Nila Nee Vaanam from Pokkisham is pure bliss on par with Oru Theivam Thantha...Thanks


Anonymous said...

This(refer link) is a very good initiative. With ppls co-op this scud really be a step in the right direction.

Rakesh said...

i was working in the tcs office opposite to that .. trust me its horrible .. i heard long back that the lake there was a no trespassing area .. meaning it is guarded by laws from central govt and it was rumored that there was a case going on .. am not sure abt that ..