Chennai: The  southern bench of the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday  ordered the government to suspend work on establishing a common solid waste management plant in Kutham­pakkam village, 10 km from Poonamallee.

Admitting a petition filed by a local farmer, R. Arum­ugam, judicial member of the tribunal, Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member, Professor Dr R. Nag­e­ndran,  passed an inte­rim order asking the government  to stop work  on the multi-crore project.

Advocates L.G. Shadevan and R.S. Mangalakumar appearing for the petitioner said the Chennai corporation had planned to establish the solid waste management plant on 99.61 acres of land in the village to recycle solid waste from Chennai and the erstwhile Amabattur and Madur­avoyal municipalities, besides the Poonamallee municipality to generate power.

But pointing out that the fertile land was used for cattle grazing and was an important catchment area for the Chembarampakkam lake, the advocates contended that the unit would harm over 3000 acres of agricultural land and jeopardize the  livelihood of over 1,200 people of seven hamlets, majority of whom were landless  labourers living on grazing of cattle and other such activity.

They also recalled that  the  district environmental engineer, Ambattur and Tiruvallur, had  on October 20, 2008 filed a report calling the land  unsuitable for the plant.  But the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board issued a no objection certificate on October 29, 2008, and in February 2009,  a government order was passed for establishing it.

Armugam  said in his plea that besides causing air pollution, the plant would pose a serious threat to the environment and Che­n­nai’s drinking water sources as  Nemmam and Chembarambakkam lakes were located close to it.

Courtesy: Deccan chronicle