Fire at Pacchanady dump yard

Earthmovers being used to throw soil on the fire at the Pacchanady dump yard in Mangaluru on Monday.

An accidental fire broke out at the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) dumping yard at Pacchanady on Monday.

Owing to shortage of water, the fire personnel were seen dumping soil to douse the fire.

The solid garbage at the yard caught fire on Monday evening. Eye witnesses said that the fire rapidly extended to a bigger area, making it difficult for the fire personnel to even approach the heap of trash.

Aided by the wind, the fire only spread faster, making it difficult for the fire personnel to bring the fire under control. The chemical content in the water too is said to have aggravated the fire.

People affected

The foul smell of burning plastic spread to a radius of more than 20 km. The residents of Kudupu, Bikarnakatte and Tiruvailu, suffered allergies and developed health problems due to the polluted air.

Those residing close to the dumping yard were forced to wear masks. Many people, particularly senior citizens and children, were the worst hit by the toxic fumes and were shifted to houses of relatives living at a safe enough distance from Pacchanady.

Mangaluru North legislator Dr Y Bharath Shetty visited the area and advised the Mangaluru City Corporation authorities to dump soil on the fire. While dumping soil on the waste, however, a truck overturned and the driver sustained a bone fracture.

Unscientific

Shetty also observed that the water collection and management was not being carried out scientifically.

The residents have urged the MLA to shift the waste to a yard in a different location. With Bantwal TMC and Ullal CMC too dumping garbage at Pacchanady, the yard is handling more waste than its capacity.

Shetty, therefore, urged the district administration to issue orders and prevent the other municipalities from dumping waste at Pacchanady. He said that the waste at Pacchanady had been polluting the soil and the ground water. He also accused the MCC of spending funds meant for upgrade of the waste management unit at Pacchanady on road and drainage work.

Approval pending

MCC Environment Engineer Madhu informed the MLA that 250 to 300 tonnes of garbage was collected from the city a day. After sorting, 50 tonnes of waste was dumped at Pacchanady.

There is a proposal to increase the capacity of the waste management unit at a cost of Rs 12 crore. Approval of the proposal, however, is pending, the engineer added.

Madhu told DH that the fire would be doused by Wednesday. The reason behind the outbreak of fire is not known.

The MCC Executive Engineer Gururaj Maralahalli, Surathkal Zonal Commissioner Ravishankar, health officer Dr Manjaiah Shetty were present on the occasion.

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