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Waste Disposal Firm Blamed for Breach of Lake

Express News Service
The New Sunday Express, Chennai

CHENNAI, November 19, 2005 -- The Tamilnadu Waste Management Limited's landfill site at Gummidipoondi on Saturday witnessed huge protests against Ramky Enviro-Engineers (REE), who had been handling waste disposal for Integrated Waste Management Association (IWMA) at Gummidipoondi.

The residents barged into the REE's office after a lake bund breached, causing flood in their villages.

According to the villagers, the REE workers had made a hole in the lake bund on Friday night to let out water from the brimming lake, as it was just 15 to 20 metre away from their landfill site. "They wanted to avoid the lake from becoming full, as the High Court has given specific directions that hazardous waste cannot be dumped near waterbodies. The beneficiaries from the projects are only IWMA and we suspect that they only caused the breach in the lake bund," a villager said.

Y. Suresh, President of S. R. Kandigai Panchayat, in Gummidipoondi said, "The lake water is already polluted. When the lake bund breached, the water entered into our villages, creating inconvenience to the residents. We have lodged a complaint regarding this at the Gummidipoondi police station."

Ever since the project for disposal of hazardous waste was announced, the local residents had been protesting against it. They had raised their objection at public hearings and expressed concern over contamination of drinking water sources near the landfill area.

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