Picturesque Perungudi

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Besant Nagar is known for its calm beach and its saintly church, Mylapore is known for its devoted temples, ECR is known for the thrilling and scenic VGP golden beach, Koyambedu is known for its vegetable markets and Perungudi is known for its ‘dump yard’!

I don’t want to be known for living in a place where an unkempt dump yard is located. I want to do something about it and give Perungudi a different reason to be known for. I want it to be known as: ‘Picturesque Perungudi’!

The following, will give you information about my steps taken towards solving the dump yard disaster. To start with, what is my problem statement?

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The problem statement: To create awareness on how the Perungudi dump yard affects its surroundings and possible solutions to avoid the problems caused by it.

Where is it faulty? To be exact, this mountain of grimy and malodour waste (dump yard) lies in the: Corporation road, Pallikaranai Marshland, Perungudi , Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600096 .

Interviews:

  1. a) People who were affected by the dump yard:

1) Name: Suneethi

Background: Mrs. Suneethi has successfully completed her BCS and ACS inter. She is from Chennai. Her daughter had been affected by the dump yard when they stayed here in Perungudi around 3 years ago.

Age: 34

Gender: female

Role: Parent

Question and answer script:

  • Do you think that something has to done about the Perungudi dump yard affecting its surroundings?

Answer: Definitely!

  • How did this dump yard affect you?

Answer: My daughter fell sick very often while we were staying at Perungudi which we were not happy about.

  • Did anyone from your family suffer from any repeated health issues?

Answer: My daughter suffered from asthma quite often as she had once studied in a school near the yard.

  • What precautions did you take in order to avoid being affected by it?

Answer: We sanitized regularly.

  • What do you think can be done about this problem?

Answer: Dump yards can be kept away from schools and other buildings.

2) Name: Harshitha

Background: A school student; studying in grade 7.

Age: 12

Gender: Female

Role: Resident of the society

Question and answer script:

  • Do you think that something has to done about the Perungudi dump yard affecting its surroundings?

Answer: Yes

  • How did this dump yard affect you?

Answer: The impure air /polluted air due to the filth from the dump yard affected the air I breathed.

  • Did anyone from your family suffer from any repeated health issues?

Answer: Nothing seemed to be too serious, but, flies do come and settle around my school quite often and could settle on the food we all eat.

  • What precautions did you take in order to avoid being affected by it?

Answer: I brought along my sanitizer to school and sanitized regularly.

  • What do you think can be done about this problem?

Answer: The society can go together and talk to the government officials about the problem.

3) Name: Saraswathi

Background: I come from Chennai and I have very successfully completed my MCOM and my ICWAI.

Age: 43

Gender: Female

Role: a contributing member of the society

Question and answer script:

  • Do you think that something has to done about the Perungudi dump yard affecting its surroundings?

Answer: Yes.

  • How did this dump yard affect you?

Answer: The air I inhale is contaminated and I certainly don’t like to breathe it.

  • Did anyone from your family suffer from any repeated health issues?

Answer: Nothing very serious has happened yet.

  • What precautions did you take in order to avoid being affected by it?

Answer: I used protective masks when needed.

  • What do you think can be done about this problem?

Answer: The compost can be used for farming, plastics for making proper roads and waste should be reduced. Also, waste should be segregated at source.

Name: Sheetal Mansinghka

Background: Dental (BDS)

Age: 35

Gender: Female

Role: A contributing resident

Question and answer script:

  • How do you think that this problem can be solved?

Answer: There is a possible way to clear all the waste at the dump yard through an organic way! We can segregate waste materials that can be reduced, reused and recycled in this process. We need to have separate bins for wet and dry waste too.

A brief explanation of the process:

In this process, first, a liquid is sprayed containing bacteria that will decompose all the waste. This will reduce the volume of waste at the dump yard and bring the decomposed materials to the top and the rest of the waste to the bottom of the heap. Now the rotary sieve will rotate and sift out all the sand from the waste. We will be left with the rest of the waste that can be recycled and reused. The dump yard is now cleared!

  • Who needs to be involved?

Answer: All citizens/ whole population, the corporation and presidents of all the apartments.

  • What would be the role of volunteers and other willing members in this process to clear the waste and segregate it?

Answer:

  • We should segregate waste.
  • Create awareness on waste segregation.
  • Gather volunteers to meet the corporation.
  • Keep track of the corporation’s work based on this.
  • Raise the issue on social media.
  • Reach out to NGOs.
  • What equipments will we require to do so?

Answer: Pro crane, JCB, Hydraulic chipper and Tractors, Trucks and Rotary sieves.

  • Approximately, how much will this process cost?

Answer: Deodorisation6 lacks per month

Bio remediation depends upon the area and volume of the waste but, it can cost around 3000-4000 rupees per tonne.

  • Approximately, how long will this process take?

Answer: This answer also depends on the volume and area of the waste but, should take around 2-3 months of time.

  1. c) The government officer:

Name: Parthiban

Background: Mr.Parthiban comes from Sree Perambathur to work everyday. He says that he has completed his BA in Economics. He had joined this work last year, roughly in February and also has provided information that his working hours are from 7am -4pm.It is a three years post.

Age: 42

Gender: Male

Role: supervisor

Question and answer script:

  • How many trucks carry garbage to the dump yard everyday and how much of garbage is dumped per day? From how many zones in Chennai is the garbage brought in?

Answer: 500 Trucks carry around 3000 tonnes of garbage per day. Waste is brought in from 7 zones in Chennai (zones 9-15).

  • How big is the dump yard?

Answer: 340 acres. It was supposed to be 270 acres but the dump yard has extended to 340 acres!

  • Does the waste get segregated? If so, what is done with the segregated waste?

Answer: As waste gets segregated only at some sources, it is mixed up while dumping it. The people who take waste from the trash cans segregate the plastics alone and sell them to earn money for themselves.

  • What precautions are taken to make sure that workers don’t get affected?

Answer: Gum boots, masks and gloves are provided for the garbage pickers and apart from this, health camps are conducted every month.

  • How many workers are there who pick the garbage and throw it into the dump yard?

Answer: There are 700 workers and identity cards are provided for each of them.

  • What are the main problems you face being in this post?

Answer: There are three main problems:-

  • Waste is not being segregated.
  • No one comes to inspect or check on the waste
  • No one comes forward to help segregate and clean the waste through a contract.
  • What do you think can be done about the problems caused?

Answer: If there is segregation, compost waste can be given to farmers, debris can be given to construction sites, plastic can be used to make roads which are improper and electricity can also be provided using materials from the dump yard. The problem is, we need more support from the government and foreign countries can help handle the waste. If there is proper management of waste no need for a dump yard! Even if needed, 10 acres of land is more than enough.

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