Tirunelveli Corporation turns garbage dump into eco park

Corporation plans to make it attractive and lure visitors

The Corporation’s once nauseating garbage dump at Ramaiyanpatti, which used to be a breeding ground for houseflies and an eyesore in the area, has been transformed into an eco park, thanks to the civic body’s scientific approach.

A over 150 tonnes of garbage was dumped there every day, residents living near the yard underwent physical and mental agony, especially when fire broke out there. The thick smoke billowing from the burning waste forced many to shift their residence temporarily till the flames were doused completely.

The problem was severe during monsoon as the nauseating smell and swarms of houseflies invading the houses from the garbage dump would make life miserable for the residents till the end of winter.

The residents staged protests several times and a few of them approached court for legal remedy. It was only when the Supreme Court ordered local bodies, especially urban civic bodies, to create credible solid waste management system that they heaved a sigh of relief.

Subsequently, scientific closure of the dump was planned for Ramaiyanpatti yard. Tirunelveli Corporation, which had compacted the waste on 32.50 acres of the total extent of 180 acres, shifted the entire quantity of 2.20 lakh cubic metres of garbage to just six acres by compacting it.

With technical assistance from National Institute of Technology-Tiruchi, compacted clay liner was provided over the compressed garbage and covered by 1.50 mm High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) geo-membrane liner.

Once compacting and the covering of garbage were completed, vegetative soil layer for about 450 mm thickness was provided on the HDPE liner, besides providing 500 mm diameter bore for the gas well. Doob grass was planted on the vegetative soil to make each heap look like a grass mound.

After a good monsoon last year, the once nauseating garbage heap looks like a ‘green mound.’

“We have planned to make this an attractive place for visitors,” says Corporation Commissioner V. Narayanan Nair.

Effectiveness of the final cover on mounds is being monitored periodically to prevent it from eroding and ensure healthiness of leachate collection system.

Moreover, groundwater quality in this region is being periodically checked to allay the fear of residents that the contaminated water from the garbage seeping into the soil could pollute groundwater.

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